Scanning the list of stocks at or right next to 52 week highs we have old momentum favorite Hansen Natural (HANS) ... I used to be in, out, or about this stock a few years ago but did not realize it was still such a hot commodity. As I look nightly at companies actually growing the top line rather than just slashing and burning their employee force to beat the number, this is one of the few new (but old) names that came up.

Considering $2 or less auto supplier stocks are the hottest segment the past few days in momo land, it's all good - this is actually relatively cheap at less than 20x forward earnings.

Let's see what Hansen Natural reported last night

  • Hansen Natural Corp ( HANS ), which sells the Monster Energy drink, posted first-quarter profit that came in ahead of market expectations as sales of its energy drinks continued to outperform in the category and gain market share.
  • Gross sales to customers outside the United States rose to $35.3 million in the first quarter, compared with $20.1 million, last year.
  • The company's net income rose 44.3 percent to $41.6 million, or 44 cents a share, from $28.8 million, or 29 cents a share, a year earlier. Net sales rose 15.1 percent to $244.2 million. Analysts were expecting earnings of 37 cents a share, before special items, on revenue of $230.1 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
  • Gross profit as a percentage of net sales rose to 53.3 percent compared with 49.4 percent in the year-ago period.
  • Hansen, which competes with Austria-based Red Bull in the energy drinks category, also said it plans to expand its Monster Energy line with other new products this year. On a conference call with analysts, the company said it expects to launch the Hammer X-Presso Monster in the United States during its ongoing second quarter. This dairy-based espresso energy drink will compete directly with Starbucks' double-shot drink, a company executive said.
  • Hansen, which has doubled its share in the U.S. energy-drink market since its launch there in 2002, has a distribution agreement with Coca-Cola Co ( KO ) and its bottler under which the beverage giant released Monster in the six Western European countries and parts of the United States. In a bid to further grow its global footprint, the company said it is had recently entered distribution agreements with Schweppes Australia Pty Ltd.
  • We continue to believe that the moderating growth in the energy drink segment appears, in part, to be due to the existing macro economic environment as well as the resulting decline in discretionary spending, said Chairman and Chief Executive Rodney Sacks in a statement.

No recession in energy drinks it appears...

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