Market Overview

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Earnings Preview: Strong Revenue Growth Expected

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ: GMCR), still the king of K-Cup coffee, is scheduled to report its first-quarter fiscal 2013 results Wednesday, February 6, after the markets close.

The company turned things around in the fourth quarter after previous weak ones, and investors will be looking for signs of momentum, as well as confirmation that competitive landscape is not as intense as previously feared.

Expectations

Analysts on average predict that Green Mountain will report that revenue for the quarter rose about 15 percent year-over-year to $1.33 billion. Earnings of $0.65 per share are also in the consensus forecast. That would be up from a reported profit of $0.60 per share in the comparable period of last year.

In the past 60 days, that earnings per share (EPS) estimate has remained steady. And Green Mountain has not fallen short of consensus EPS estimates in the past four quarters. The fourth-quarter earnings of $0.64 per share topped expectations by more than 33 percent.

Green Mountain attributed the strong results for the fourth-quarter, the last under former CEO Larry Blanford, to the increasing popularity of its Keurig single-cup brewing system, and in particular two new versions: the Keurig Vue and the Keurig Rivo.

Green Mountain offered forecasts for the new fiscal year and the first quarter that were above analyst estimates. The share price jumped more than 27 percent following the fourth-quarter report.

Looking ahead to the current quarter, analysts anticipate sequential and year-over-year growth of both per-share earnings and revenues. And for the full fiscal year, so far the consensus forecast calls for EPS up more than 11 percent on revenue that is more than 16 percent higher, relative to the previous year.

The Company

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters specializes in organic, fair trade, and specialty gourmet coffees. In 2006, the company acquired Keurig, a manufacturer of single-cup brewing systems. Green Mountain sells approximately 225 varieties of coffee, cocoa, teas and other beverages in K-Cup and Vue single-serve packs.

The company was founded in 1981 and its headquarters are in Waterbury, Vermont. The company has a market capitalization of about $7 billion. Brian Kelley has been president and chief executive officer since December 2012. Before that he was an executive of the Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO).

Competitors include Farmer Brothers (NASDAQ: FARM) and Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX).

The former is expected to have swung to a profit from a year-ago loss, and to post flat year-over-year sales, when it reports next. The latter posted EPS and revenue growth in line with consensus estimates for its most recent quarter.

During the three months that ended in December, Green Mountain appointed a president for international business development, struck deals with Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE: DPS) and Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ: COST), launched the Keurig Rivo cappuccino system, hired a new CEO and made changes to its board, included naming a new chairman.

Performance

Green Mountain has a long-term EPS growth forecast of more than 18 percent, and its price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is in line than the industry average. The operating margin is greater than the industry average, the return on equity is more than 17 percent and the return on investment is more than 12 percent.

The number of Green Mountain shares sold short, as of mid-January, represents more than 25 percent of the float. But note that the short interest has been falling since mid-November.

The consensus recommendation of the 14 analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call who follow the stock is to buy shares. Five rate the stock at Strong Buy, while one rates it at Sell. The analysts' mean price target, or where they expect the stock to go, is about the same as the current share price. Of course, a strong report and/or guidance may prompt raised targets.

The share price has risen more than 117 percent in the past six months and reached a nine-month high on Tuesday. But shares are trading more than 32 percent lower than a year ago. Still the share price is above the 50-day and 200-day moving averages.

Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed the competitors mentioned above, as well as the likes of Unilever (NYSE: UN) and Kraft Foods (NASDAQ: KRFT).

Posted-In: Coca-cola costco wholesale Dr Pepper SnappleEarnings Long Ideas Short Ideas Previews Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

 

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