Monster Beverage (MNST) Upgraded to Buy by Zacks Investment Research

Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Friday. The brokerage currently has a $75.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price suggests a potential upside of 12.17% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Monster Beverage have gained 52.7% in the past year, outperforming the 17.9% rally of the industry. Also, earnings estimate for 2018 have moved north over the past 30 days. The company’s strong portfolio and focus on innovation should drive the stock’s performance in the upcoming quarters as well. The deal with Coca-Cola is expected to boost Monster Beverage’s presence in the international energy drinks market while its focus on innovation is likely to drive sales. However, softness in beverage industry, unfavorable currency translations and higher expenses in the United States raise concerns.”

A number of other brokerages have also weighed in on MNST. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $58.00 price target on shares of Monster Beverage in a report on Thursday, November 2nd. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $64.00 price objective on shares of Monster Beverage in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Susquehanna Bancshares cut shares of Monster Beverage from a “neutral” rating to a “negative” rating and set a $51.00 price objective on the stock. in a research note on Monday, November 20th. Stifel Nicolaus reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $73.00 price objective (up from $61.00) on shares of Monster Beverage in a research note on Tuesday. Finally, Cowen reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $67.00 price objective (up from $58.00) on shares of Monster Beverage in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $63.82.

Shares of Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) traded up $0.39 during trading on Friday, hitting $66.86. 2,500,000 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,010,000. The firm has a market capitalization of $37,490.00, a price-to-earnings ratio of 48.80, a P/E/G ratio of 1.88 and a beta of 0.94. Monster Beverage has a fifty-two week low of $41.02 and a fifty-two week high of $67.34.

Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, November 8th. The company reported $0.40 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.40. The business had revenue of $909.50 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $903.82 million. Monster Beverage had a net margin of 23.92% and a return on equity of 23.45%. Monster Beverage’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.34 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Monster Beverage will post 1.48 EPS for the current year.

In related news, Chairman Rodney C. Sacks sold 189,861 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $63.92, for a total value of $12,135,915.12. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Chairman Rodney C. Sacks sold 62,386 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $64.53, for a total transaction of $4,025,768.58. Following the completion of the sale, the chairman now directly owns 949,806 shares in the company, valued at $61,290,981.18. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 268,026 shares of company stock worth $17,179,867. Insiders own 9.40% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Liberty Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in Monster Beverage by 2,028.0% in the 3rd quarter. Liberty Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,128 shares of the company’s stock valued at $120,000 after acquiring an additional 2,028 shares in the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its position in Monster Beverage by 29,250.0% in the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 2,935 shares of the company’s stock valued at $146,000 after acquiring an additional 2,925 shares in the last quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. lifted its position in Monster Beverage by 397.6% in the 3rd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 2,682 shares of the company’s stock valued at $148,000 after acquiring an additional 2,143 shares in the last quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Monster Beverage in the 3rd quarter valued at $169,000. Finally, Penserra Capital Management LLC bought a new stake in Monster Beverage in the 3rd quarter valued at $182,000. 65.69% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Monster Beverage

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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