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Powering up with Monster Beverage

Good morning, fizz fanatics. This is your Stock Market Rundown for March 5th, 2024. Thanks for hanging out with me. Let’s get started:

TODAY’S TOP STORY: ENERGETIC ELIXIRS

What was the best-performing stock in the past 30 years? You’re probably thinking Apple, Google, or Microsoft. Surprise: the answer is Monster Beverage. While you may associate the energy drink with all-night World of Warcraft sessions rather than trading gains, its stock appreciated 200,000% over the past three decades.

While Coca-Cola owns a minority stake, Monster remains an independent public company. Originally founded in 1935, it started out as a family-run business selling fruit juice products. Wholesome, but not too profitable: by 1988 the brand was bankrupt.

It was eventually acquired by a group led by South African billionaire Rodney Sacks. Under Sacks, the company launched Monster—a product with lots of sugar, lots of caffeine, and a supersized 16 ounce can, to appeal to the young male demographic. The rebrand was a runaway success, and today, Monster has 30% market share of the energy drink category.

Monster has cultivated an “extreme” image—it’s a longtime sponsor of badass sports like Supercross offroad motorcycle racing and Professional Bull Riding. (In actuality, the only thing that’s extreme is the amount of caffeine in Monster’s product—don’t drink more than one in a day, unless you want to risk heart palpitations.)

Next stop: global takeover. In a recent investor presentation, Monster highlighted two brands, Predator and Fury, that they’re launching across the Middle East, Asia, and Latin America. Why does every product this company launches have a name like a Marvel character?

Recently, Monster’s extreme ride hit a speed bump: earnings missed estimates as penny-pinching consumers bypassed higher-priced beverages. When budgets get tight is when you remember that the cheapest way to get your caffeine fix is dusting off your coffee maker.

What’s your favorite Monster flavor? Are you an Ultra Blue fan or a Mango Loco man? Reveal all in the comments:

SO WHAT ELSE IS GOING ON?
  • Movie theatre chain AMC reported a quarterly loss, thanks to the 2023 strikes by Hollywood writers and actors stopping up the release schedule. Management is hoping that the 2024 slate of big-budget flicks like Dune 2 will bring audiences back, preferably with big buckets of overpriced popcorn on their laps.

  • Google is being sued by advertisers for monopolizing the online advertising market. Remember when Google’s slogan was “Don’t be evil”? They dropped that in 2018; now it’s more like “Don’t get caught”.

  • Any energy company that acquired natural gas assets in the past few years, must feel like they bought a first-class ticket on the Titanic. Natural gas prices are at a 30-year low, thanks to a balmy winter and oodles of supply.

  • Robotics startup Figure raised $675 million from top tech companies like Microsoft to develop humanoid robots. I can’t wait to replace my intern Derek with a mechanical version… a robot wouldn’t complain about having to iron my bath towels.

Bye for now, folks. Looking forward to tomorrow morning's meetup. Yours in capitalism, The Axe

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