Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Monster Beverage's shares have underperformed the Zacks categorized Beverages-Soft Drinks industry, in the last one year. While the company has a favorable long-term outlook, we remain concerned because of soft industry trends and limited near-term impact from innovation. Again, increasing expenses to support top-line growth also add to the worries. In the last reported quarter, operating expenses increased more than 28% year over year. Additionally, with a significant portion of sales generated outside the U.S., the company is susceptible to unfavorable currency translations. The company’s first-quarter results were hurt by unfavorable currency rates which dented quarterly net sales by $3.7 million.”

Several other research analysts have also recently weighed in on the company. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) lifted their price target on Monster Beverage Corporation from $54.00 to $57.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, May 15th. Vetr upgraded Monster Beverage Corporation from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $52.90 price target for the company in a research report on Wednesday, May 17th. Credit Suisse Group reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $59.00 price objective on shares of Monster Beverage Corporation in a report on Tuesday, April 4th. Jefferies Group LLC raised their price objective on Monster Beverage Corporation from $60.00 to $62.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, April 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $58.00 price objective on shares of Monster Beverage Corporation in a report on Monday, May 15th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. Monster Beverage Corporation currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $56.48.

Shares of Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ MNST) traded up 0.74% on Wednesday, hitting $50.70. The company had a trading volume of 2,867,070 shares. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $49.98 and its 200 day moving average is $46.24. Monster Beverage Corporation has a 52 week low of $40.64 and a 52 week high of $55.50. The company has a market capitalization of $28.79 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 40.82 and a beta of 0.95.

Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, May 4th. The company reported $0.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.32 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $742.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $738.54 million. Monster Beverage Corporation had a return on equity of 23.36% and a net margin of 23.36%. Monster Beverage Corporation’s quarterly revenue was up 9.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.79 earnings per share. Equities analysts expect that Monster Beverage Corporation will post $1.49 EPS for the current year.

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Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its stake in shares of Monster Beverage Corporation by 36.2% in the fourth quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 9,346 shares of the company’s stock worth $414,000 after buying an additional 2,483 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Monster Beverage Corporation by 204.9% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 940,414 shares of the company’s stock worth $41,701,000 after buying an additional 631,931 shares in the last quarter. Stifel Financial Corp raised its stake in shares of Monster Beverage Corporation by 210.6% in the first quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 233,660 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,802,000 after buying an additional 158,424 shares in the last quarter. Boston Advisors LLC raised its stake in shares of Monster Beverage Corporation by 7,367.2% in the first quarter. Boston Advisors LLC now owns 386,653 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,852,000 after buying an additional 381,475 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Atalanta Sosnoff Capital LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Monster Beverage Corporation during the first quarter worth about $16,720,000. 66.03% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Monster Beverage Corporation

Monster Beverage Corporation is a holding company. The Company develop, market, sell and distribute alternative beverage category beverages under the brand names of Monster Energy, Monster Rehab, Monster Energy Extra Strength Nitrous Technology, Java Monster, X-Presso Monster, Muscle Monster, Punch Monster, Hansen’s, Hansen’s Natural Cane Soda, Junior Juice, Blue Sky, Hubert’s, Worx Energy and Peace Tea.

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Analyst Recommendations for Monster Beverage Corporation (NASDAQ:MNST)

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