Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A. grew its stake in shares of Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ:MNST) by 5.9% during the 3rd quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The fund owned 246,946 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 13,784 shares during the period. Candriam Luxembourg S.C.A.’s holdings in Monster Beverage were worth $14,392,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Several other large investors also recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Monster Beverage by 2.6% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 23,831,781 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,365,558,000 after acquiring an additional 604,939 shares in the last quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC lifted its position in shares of Monster Beverage by 24.4% during the second quarter. Voya Investment Management LLC now owns 5,468,514 shares of the company’s stock worth $313,346,000 after acquiring an additional 1,071,066 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Monster Beverage by 2.5% during the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 4,991,954 shares of the company’s stock worth $286,039,000 after acquiring an additional 121,766 shares in the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. lifted its position in shares of Monster Beverage by 10.6% during the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 4,427,388 shares of the company’s stock worth $253,689,000 after acquiring an additional 423,841 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its position in shares of Monster Beverage by 414.7% during the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,279,018 shares of the company’s stock worth $245,188,000 after acquiring an additional 3,447,585 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.76% of the company’s stock.

Shares of MNST stock opened at $55.78 on Wednesday. Monster Beverage Corp has a 52-week low of $47.61 and a 52-week high of $70.21. The firm has a market capitalization of $31.43 billion, a P/E ratio of 38.21, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.02 and a beta of 1.36.

Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 7th. The company reported $0.50 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.46 by $0.04. Monster Beverage had a return on equity of 25.47% and a net margin of 25.86%. The company had revenue of $1.02 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $988.73 million. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.40 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up 11.7% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts expect that Monster Beverage Corp will post 1.76 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Monster Beverage announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Wednesday, August 8th that allows the company to repurchase $500.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization allows the company to buy up to 1.5% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are typically a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, insider Emelie Tirre sold 17,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.91, for a total value of $1,035,470.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 46,847 shares in the company, valued at $2,853,450.77. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 9.70% of the company’s stock.

Several research firms have issued reports on MNST. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Monster Beverage from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $64.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday. BidaskClub upgraded Monster Beverage from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 17th. Morgan Stanley downgraded Monster Beverage from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and increased their target price for the stock from $50.02 to $57.00 in a research report on Thursday, November 8th. Citigroup set a $64.00 target price on Monster Beverage and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, November 9th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets dropped their target price on Monster Beverage to $60.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, November 9th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating, eleven have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $63.38.

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About Monster Beverage

Monster Beverage Corporation, through its subsidiaries, develops, markets, sells, and distributes energy drink beverages, soda, and its concentrates in the United States and internationally. It operates through three segments: Monster Energy Drinks, Strategic Brands, and Other. The company offers ready-to-drink packaged drinks, non-carbonated dairy based coffee and energy drinks, and non-carbonated energy shakes primarily to bottlers and full service beverage distributors, as well as sells directly to retail grocery and specialty chains, wholesalers, club stores, drug stores, mass merchandisers, convenience chains, food service customers, and the military; and concentrates and/or beverage bases to authorized bottling and canning operations; and ready-to-drink packaged energy drinks to bottlers and full service beverage distributors.

Further Reading: Liquidity

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Monster Beverage (NASDAQ:MNST)

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