National Beverage Reports Record Revenue, Shares Barely Move

| About: National Beverage (FIZZ)

National Beverage (NASDAQ:FIZZ) reported their best earnings in company history on Thursday. The beverage company saw its shares barely move after posting these great results. The biggest reason is a lack of coverage and playing smaller fiddle to huge rivals Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Pepsi (NYSE:PEP), and Dr. Pepper Snapple (NYSE:DPS).

For fiscal 2012, National Beverage reported revenue of $629 million, besting its previous year's total of $600 million. This revenue also marked a steady streak of yearly increased revenue. In fact, let's look at six year revenue, net income, and earnings per share:

2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007
Revenue ($mil) 629 600 594 575 566 539
Net Income ($mil) 44 41 33 25 23 25
Earnings Per Share 0.95 0.88 0.71 0.54 0.49 0.54

As you can see from the chart, revenue has gained each year. Net income and earnings per share have also increased every year, with a few exceptions.

National Beverage is a smaller, cheaper version of the major pop retailers. The company has ownership of the following brands:

· Shasta, Faygo, Everfresh, La Croix, Rip It, Asante, Mt Shasta, Clear Fruit, Mr. Pure, Ritz, Crystal Bay, Cascadia Sparkling Clear, Ohana, Big Shot, St. Nicks

The company's main two brands are Shasta and Faygo. Shasta traces its founding back to 1889 and was bought out by what's now known as National Beverage in 1985. The Shasta brand is a former Sara Lee (SLE) holding. Faygo was also bought in the late 1980s to strengthen this cheaper carbonated beverage company.

In the most recent fourth quarter, revenue was $165.4 million, up from last year's $152.1 million in the same period. Net income increased to $11.5 million, from a previous $11.1 million. Earnings per share for the quarter were $0.25, beating last year by $0.01 in the fourth quarter.

National Beverage also raised its share buyback to a new 1.6 million share amount. Previously, the company has purchased over five hundred thousand shares. There are 1.1 million remaining shares on the buyback plan available.

Shares of National Beverage are trading at $14.94, compared to a fifty two week range of $13.30 to $17.76. In fiscal 2012, shares are down 7.4%. National Beverage is blowing away its numbers from the previous years and continues to see sales growth across the nation. Since 1991, shares of National Beverage are up 675%, which is better than all three of the major carbonated beverage companies in that time frame.

National Beverage has $36 million in cash, with zero in long term debt. This sets up nicely for an acquisition and also gives shareholders almost $1 per share in cash. Earlier this week, I listed National Beverage as a potential acquirer of Leading Brands (NASDAQ:LBIX). I think the acquisition could strengthen National Beverage and possibly help the distribution of Leading Brands' portfolio in North America. National Beverage already has a strong carbonated beverage line with Shasta and Faygo, two of the premier off brand pops.

After taking a deep look at National Beverage, I believe the company can continue its revenue and net income growth. Shares also look undervalued trading at a 1.1 ratio of price to sales, cheaper than peers in the beverage industry. A small market capitalization of $692 million, along with $36 million in cash and a huge buyback program, could power shares much higher in 2012.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, but may initiate a long position in FIZZ, LBIX over the next 72 hours.