CELH

Why Celsius Holdings Stock Made a Caffeinated Jump Today

Shares of Celsius Holdings (NASDAQ: CELH) bubbled more than 22% higher on Thursday morning, following a tasty earnings report. The stock closed Thursday's trading with a 20.4% gain.

Breaking down Celsius' earnings surprise

The health-conscious energy drink maker's fourth-quarter sales nearly doubled year over year, rising from $178 million to $347 million. The bottom line swung from a $0.12 loss per share to $0.17 of positive earnings per share. The analyst community's consensus targets stopped at $331 million and $0.15 per share, respectively.

Yummy returns on fiscal discipline and low-cost marketing

The rambunctious revenue growth suggests an intense commitment to optimal sales growth at any cost. Celsius, however, is actually applying a careful blend of effective marketing and surprisingly conservative fiscal management.

The company signed multiyear sponsorship deals with several MLS soccer clubs and one high-profile Formula One racing team in the fourth quarter, supported by an aggressive marketing campaign on social media. But Celsius relies heavily on word-of-mouth marketing, chiefly focused on the Celsius brand, rather than specific products or flavors.

As a result, adjusted sales and marketing expenses increased by just 45%, while the resulting sales almost doubled. Celsius is profitable from an earnings-based perspective, and free cash flow has been strongly positive for two years.

The stock isn't cheap, with valuation ratios soaring far above those of head-to-head rival Monster Energy. But the premium price makes sense in light of Celsius' high-octane business growth and surprisingly early access to positive profits.

The stock trades at a fresh all-time high after Thursday's big jump, and this is probably not the end of the energy drink maker's growth story. Every high-growth stock looks risky at first glance, and Celsius is no exception to that rule. Still, that healthy income statement has a calming effect -- and mighty PepsiCo wouldn't sign a long-term distribution partnership with a high-risk business teetering on the edge of financial disaster.

The road ahead looks bumpy. Celsius will probably experience a few sharp price drops along the way. Consider adding a modest Celsius position to your portfolio if you can handle that turbulence. I think there's a lot of fizz left in this energy brew.

Should you invest $1,000 in Celsius right now?

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Anders Bylund has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Celsius and Monster Beverage. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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