Do you ever lose track of a stock? I seem to do it all the time. I’m following a company, liking what I see, thinking about investing, and then life gets in the way and I forget about it — for weeks, months, and sometimes even years. That’s exactly what happened with SodaStream International Ltd (NASAQ:SODA) and SodaStream stock. In 2012, I thought it was the cat’s meow.
SodaStream was taking on the big boys and girls of the beverage industry while saving the planet — Indra Nooyi is CEO of PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) — and that was going to send SODA stock to the moon.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that its razor/razor blade business model is working. Even if it never sells another machine, SodaStream could probably still make money,” I wrote Nov. 21, 2012. “But machine sales won’t stop because Coke and Pepsi and the rest are working from a business model that’s old and inefficient. Each year, just like the cable cutters, enough consumers will come to their senses. When they do, you can bet SodaStream’s market cap will be more than $700 million.”
Then life stepped in.
Even though I’d see the machines on the shelves and read about the company’s ups and downs over the next five years, it completely left my consciousness.
My editor thought it would be a good idea to write about SodaStream. I knew it hadn’t gone broke because I just saw some of the company’s machines on the shelves while shopping with my wife.
I checked Google Finance for the latest quote for Sodastream stock and almost fell off my chair when I saw it has a market cap of $2.1 billion, a compound annual growth rate of 23%.
Wow. What the heck happened?
A Water Business
InvestorPlace contributor and well-known investment guru Louis Navellier recently discussed Sodastream’s move away from the razor/razor blade model I thought had legs — which it didn’t — to a simple focus on carbonated water.
“The new SODA strategy was to focus on water. While it would provide some of the products it sold before through retailers and online, it was going to focus on carbonating water in strategic markets around the world,” wrote Navellier Feb. 16. “It took a year or two to finally get some traction. By 2016, things started to look up from the depths. In the past 12 months, SodaStream stock is on a roll — up more than 80%.”
Interestingly, although I thought the razor/razor blade business model was a good one back in 2012, I was more turned on by the company’s ability to reduce the global ecological footprint while providing great tasting water.
A lot of people like carbonated water. Just ask Perrier.
I guess it took a few years for people to realize that their love of carbonated water was actually choking off the earth’s ability to breathe.
The SodaStream Stock Numbers Don’t Lie
Over the past five years, SodaStream has added about one million households per year who actively use its products.
The result: Steady, if not spectacular revenue growth.
In 2017, all four of the company’s operating regions had double-digit revenue growth. Overall, it finished its latest fiscal year with $543 million in sales.
More importantly, Sodastream’s gross margins have increased by 5.5 percentage points to 53.5% over the past two years while operating profit margins have tripled over the same period to 15%.
The net result is that SodaStream stock has gone from negative free cash flow to positive which will allow it to continue growing its awareness and market penetration in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Sweden accounts for 16% of the company’s active households. By comparison, the U.S. accounts for just 1.4% providing it with a significant opportunity to grow revenue.
Eventually, the U.S. will catch up with the rest of the world.
Bottom Line on SodaStream stock
The company I knew in 2012 is not the company today. It’s far more focused and operationally sound than it was five years ago.
That said, SodaStream stock isn’t cheap at 3.5 times sales and 24.5 times 2018 estimates.
However, it wouldn’t surprise me if I lost track of SodaStream and in five years time, it had a market cap of $10-$20 billion.
This is an idea whose time has definitely come.
As of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.