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Why National Beverage Stock Was Slammed Friday

Daniel Sparks, The Motley Fool

What happened

Shares of National Beverage (NASDAQ: FIZZ) sold off sharply on Friday, falling as much as 26%. As of 12:02 p.m. EST, however, the stock was down 17.5%.

The stock's decline followed reporting of the company's fiscal third-quarter results, which included earnings per share and sales that were much worse than analysts were expecting.

A chart showing a stock price moving lower.

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

National Beverage posted fiscal third-quarter net sales of $220.9 million, down from $227.5 million in the year-ago quarter. Profits plummeted, declining from $41.1 million in the year-ago quarter to $24.8 million. This represents earnings of $0.53 on a per-share basis, down from $0.88 in the year-ago quarter.

The company's earnings per share of $0.53 missed analysts' consensus forecast by a long shot. Analysts expected EPS of $0.76.

The sales slump comes as the company's sparkling-water LaCroix drinks have been battling public brand perception headwinds.

Shares are down more than 51% over the last 12 months.

Now what

Investors may be disappointed with the lack of plan laid out to correct this sales slump in the company's fiscal third-quarter earnings release. The CEO, Nick Caporella, said, "Much of this was the result of injustice!" In addition, Caporella is confident in the LaCroix brand, noting:

One can be induced to purchase by cheapening price or giving away a product, but falling in love with a feeling of joy is the result of contentment. Just ask any LaCroix consumer ... Would you trade away that LaLa feeling? "No way, they shout -- We just love our LaCroix!" I am positive they respond this way each and every time.

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Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends National Beverage. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.