The stock of La Croix’s parent company, National Beverage Corporation (ticker “FIZZ”), plummeted as much as 24% Friday in response to a 40% decrease in third-quarter sales.
For Croixin’ out loud…
True to form, National Beverage’s CEO Nick Caporella published a bizarre, exclamation-point-studded press release in which he apologized and vaguely blamed “injustice” for the weak quarterly earnings.
Caporella’s spokesperson later explained that he was referring to the recent lawsuit that accused the “all-natural” La Croix of using artificial ingredients (including a cockroach insecticide).
In his statement, Caporella went on to compare brand management to caring for a handicapped person (dude…) and wrapped up with this little gem: “Just ask any LaCroix consumer . . . Would you trade away that LaLa feeling? ‘No way, they shout – We just love our LaCroix!’”
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Investors to sell(tzer) their shares
Strangely, stockholders weren’t feeling the La-La-love after his manic rant: Guggenheim Securities recommended selling shares on Friday and lowered National Bev’s 12-month share price target from $72 to $45.
Analysts cited powerful competition bubbling up in the category –- with recent sparkling acquisitions by big players like PepsiCo (Bubly) and Coca-Cola (Topo Chico).
In a final dig, one analyst even suggested LaCroix sell to… Dr. Pepper.