Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) has soared to record highs this year. The Israel-based maker of home soda machines has boomed as it embraces the consumer trend toward sparkling water.
Now that the stock has breached the multiyear high of $75 per share, the question on the minds of investors centers on how much longer the SODA stock bull market can last. Although SODA should continue moving higher, the question hinges on how much new investors would have to gain by buying now.
SODA Grew by Watering Down
To be sure, SODA has become one of the great turnaround stories of the last decade. SODA stock went as high as $77.80 per share in 2013 before falling into the low $10s per share range by 2016. That year, soda consumption had fallen to a 30-year low.
At this time, SodaStream made a subtle but powerful pivot from soda to sparkling water. In a world where the likes of The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO), Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE:DPS) and PepsiCo, Inc. (NASDAQ:PEP) have struggled to keep up with consumer tastes, such a move has added the fizz back to SODA stock.
Also, from a financial perspective, SodaStream has become a well-run company. SODA holds zero debt, and it has steadily increased both stockholders’ equity and its cash position. Moreover, both the return on assets (ROA) and return on equity (ROE) have returned to the double digits following the stock’s comeback.
However, for all the recent popularity surrounding sparkling water, the trend toward home soda machines has not taken off in the United States as it has in other parts of the world. The overwhelming majority of its sales gains have taken place in places such as Western Europe and Asia.
Still, Americans relative lack of familiarity with SodaStream has not stopped SODA stock from producing more fizz than ever. Since early 2016, the stock has moved from the low teens to over $98 per share at one point in April of this year. The stock has seen a modest correction, but today, it still trades at just under $90 per share.
Is It Too Late?
Naturally, such a move leaves investors asking if they’re too late to the party. The short answer is both yes and no.
Investors looking for another sevenfold increase in the value of SODA stock will find themselves disappointed. However, I do not think SODA has finished rising yet. The stock trades at a forward price-to-earnings (PE) ratio of just under 24.5. While not cheap, the stock trades close to fair value.
Consensus profit growth for 2019 stands at just over 12.5%. That will slow down to about 7.6% for 2020. I believe future years hold the key to how far the stock can go. As it stands now, analysts expect profit levels to begin falling starting in 2021. In fairness, that only constitutes one estimate.
Also, 2021 remains three years away, and a lot can occur in that amount of time. I do not expect another collapse such as the one that happened in 2014 and 2015.
Also, the PE ratio on this stock rarely falls below 20. Such an occurrence would take the stock down by about 20% from current levels. I doubt SODA stock will produce massive losses for today’s buyers, even in such a worst-case scenario. The question remains how much can they gain with this investment?
Bottom Line on SODA Stock
Investors should evaluate and temper their expectations before opening a position in SODA stock. SodaStream remains a well-run company, and management’s pivot into sparkling water has brought investors massive gains over the last two years.
However, estimates down the road indicate that profits may level off. If investors want a stable company that will probably continue to see steady gains, SODA stock remains a good choice. However, investors wanting to match the growth rate that SODA saw in 2016 and 2017 should probably look elsewhere.
As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting.