On Monday, shares of Green Mountain rose more than 6% after a Bloomberg report pointed out that the company recently applied for a trademark on the word “Karbon,” which they describe as a machine “for the production of cold water, soda, still, carbonated and sparkling beverages.”
Of course, this doesn’t exactly mean Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) will be jumping into the at-home carbonation market anytime in the very near future, and Green Mountain representatives, for their part, wouldn’t comment on the specific trademark. Instead, they vaguely stated, “As we continue to grow, we are likely to seek any number of trademarks.”
Par for the course
So does this mean certain doom for Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) over the long term? Hardly.
Remember, late last year, bottled water distributor Primo Water signed a three-year deal with Cuisinart to sell a Cuisinart-branded version of its own sparkling beverage appliances, and that hasn’t stopped SodaStream from making a habit of crushing analysts’ expectations each quarter since then.
Then again, Green Mountain does know a thing or two about starting small, and one would think that if any company could figure out how to penetrate a high-growth, up-and-coming industry, it’d be the team that popularized Keurig coffee brewers by convincing millions of consumers they couldn’t live without one in their kitchens. All in all, that helped early investors in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR) to multiply their money 44-fold over the past decade alone.
That said, shares of Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) had also been on a tear in 2013 until just last month, having risen more than 60% through the first half of the year — and with good reason: With its most recent quarterly earnings beat, we saw SodaStream’s revenue grow 34% year over year, thanks to a 78% gain in soda-maker sales as well as solid gas-refill and syrup unit revenue, which rose 101% and 78%, respectively.
Better yet, Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) has unveiled a slew of partnerships of its own so far this year, including new flavor partnerships, a deal with Samsung to integrate its carbonation machines into the Korean conglomerate’s high-end fridges, and a potentially lucrative agreement with Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) to make KitchenAid-branded carbonation machines based on SodaStream’s technology.
Trouble in paradise?
Even so, Sodastream International Ltd (NASDAQ:SODA) stock has fallen more than 17% over the past month as recent buyout chatter concerning a potential $2 billion deal with PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) has faded.
As fellow Fool Rick Munarriz noted at the time, while SodaStream arguably represents one of the biggest long-term threats to huge traditional beverage companies like PepsiCo and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO), it wouldn’t make sense for either of the industry giants to acquire the tiny company, especially considering it would not only anger the bottlers who rely on their existing businesses, but also cannibalize their own core canned and bottled beverage sales.