Sodastream International Ltd (SODA), The Coca-Cola Company (KO): Will This Soda Company Pop or Fizzle?

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The chart below shows the stock performances for all three companies over the past year.



SODA data by YCharts

This chart might make it tempting to choose SodaStream versus its more established peers. However, what about valuation?



SODA PE Ratio TTM data by YCharts

You’re paying a premium for SodaStream. The good news: SodaStream has the potential to meet or exceed its current expectations. Also, unlike most growth companies, SodaStream isn’t using a ton of debt to fuel its growth. It has an impressive debt-to-equity ratio of 0.03 versus an industry average of 0.60.

Analysts and rumors

In early June, an Israeli newspaper ran a story suggesting that was interested in acquiring SodaStream. Pepsi quickly denied the rumor. However, if we look a little closer to the situation, it would make sense for Pepsi or The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) to acquire SodaStream.

SodaStream has seen excellent growth, and its expanding its partnerships. For example, Samsung now has two refrigerators with SodaStream units embedded in them, and SodaStream inked a deal with KitchenAid, a subsidiary of Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR). The former will increase visibility and word of mouth, and the latter will solidify SodaStream as the market leader in home soda.

These deals help aid SodaStream’s current momentum and make SodaStream more of a long-term threat to Pepsi and Coke. Many analysts suggest that an appliance manufacturer is a more likely acquirer of SodaStream. That might be the case, but that wouldn’t help Pepsi or Coke. In other words, SodaStream isn’t a threat to an appliance manufacturer. An acquisition would be affordable for Pepsi or Coke, and it would act as a defensive play with upside potential.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for safety while also collecting dividends, then The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) and Pepsi are better options. Still, SodaStream has a lot going for it, and the growth potential is excellent. Its short position is likely high because SodaStream is trading at a lofty 33 times earnings. If the broader market suffers a steep correction, investors and traders will quickly exit high-growth yet expensive positions like this one.

However, as long as the broader market remains afloat (or better), SodaStream is likely to remain a winner.

The article Will This Soda Company Pop or Fizzle? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Dan Moskowitz has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Amazon.com, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and SodaStream. The Motley Fool owns shares of Amazon.com, PepsiCo, and SodaStream. Dan is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network — entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

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