Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) shares tumbled 16.25% to $23.10 in pre-market trading Tuesday after the company warned of lower-than-expected third quarter results. The Israel-based company said in a statement that the weak demand for its soda-making systems and flavors in the U.S. weighed on sales.
Sodastream CEO calls the results ‘disappointing’
Sodastream expects third-quarter revenue of $125 million, far below the Wall Street consensus of $154.4 million. The maker of beverage carbonation systems had generated $144 million in revenue in the same quarter last year. Operating earnings are expected to come in at $8.5 million, compared to analysts’ estimate of $17.6 million. Sodastream CEO Daniel Birnbaum termed the results “disappointing.”
The company’s U.S. sales have been struggling for the past few quarters. Birnbaum said under-performance in the U.S. was the primary driver of the overall shortfall in Q3. Though the company has successfully established a strong base of repeat users in the United States, it is now struggling to attract new customers at a higher rate.
Sodastream shares were halted at 7:00 AM EDT on Tuesday, and resumed trading about an hour later. The stock has declined 44% this year until Monday. It sank another 16% in pre-market trading Tuesday. Birnbaum said Q3 results suggest that the company should alter its course and enhance its execution.
Sodastream’s new plans to attract new customers
Sodastream has started shifting its brand toward health and wellness in an attempt to attract new customers. Mr. Birnbaum believes the health-focused message will resonate more strongly with the U.S. consumers. The company is also developing a growth-plan, which Birnbaum will share with investors during the company’s third-quarter earnings call on October 29.
Sodastream has been subject of numerous buyout rumors in the past. In July, Bloomberg reported that the company was in talks with an investment firm to go private. Last month, Israeli newspaper TheMarker reported that an unnamed British investment firm was interested in acquiring Sodastream for $40 per share.