The Motley Fool

Fever-Tree Drinks share price: Why I’d sell today

Image source: Getty Images.

Buying into the Fever-Tree Drinks (LSE: FEVR) share price at 163p in 2014, and selling in September 2018 for 3,863p, would’ve produced a not-insignificant 2,269% return on your investment.

Buying into Fever-Tree after the stock market crash at 935p a share and selling now would net you a cushy 156% return. 

5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!

According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…

And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential...

Fever-Tree, like many of its AIM-listed peers, rides the waves of stock market volatility. The current trend is upwards, so why realise that pleasing return now?

Fever-Tree is a growth stock slowing down

Quite simply, Fever-Tree Drinks is a growth stock slowing down. Historically, the impressive stock price performance reflects the market’s expectations for the carbonated mixers supplier.

Until 2019, the company’s revenues, profits, and assets were increasing year on year and the market loved it. But, growth stocks can’t climb forever at the same rate.

Indeed, in 2019, a 10% rise in revenues did not translate into growing profits as increased costs and reduced domestic sales took their toll. Despite a strong balance sheet, Fever-Tree wasn’t meeting analyst expectations, sharply depressing the share price, and slowing the growth curve. 

Understandably, every investor wants above-average returns, and many will view growth stocks, like Fever-Tree, as a means of achieving this. But past growth is not an indicator of future growth and companies with good records usually sell at high prices. 

An investor can be right about a firm’s prospects but also pay too much for a stock, lowering returns on their purchase.

Fever-Tree Drinks share price is expensive

Fever-Tree Drinks currently trades around 2,394p. Many share price websites will show a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio for Fever-Tree, around 47. This ratio takes the current price of the share and divides it by 2019’s earnings per share (EPS) of 50.3p.

Usually, a lower ratio indicates better value for money. However, if the year in question was unusually profitable, it’s easy to overestimate a company’s proper value. Using a multi-year average reduces the odds of overestimating the true value of a company.

Over the last five years, Fever-Tree’s average EPS is 35.5p, giving a massive P/E of 67, against an industry average of 22. I think Fever-Tree Drinks is vastly overpriced, even before considering market conditions.

Fever-Tree faces market uncertainty

45% of Fever-Tree’s revenues come from ‘on-trade’ sales, meaning they arise from pubs and bars where alcohol can be sold to drink on-premises. It’s not yet clear what will happen to the pub trade in the short term due to the government’s coronavirus fears.

In addition, Fever-Tree’s artisan products, innovative at first, are now facing stiff competition from the likes of Cobell and other mixer manufacturers. Unless the firm can carve itself a new niche, it’s growth curve will flatten further.  

Also thinking this way is fund manager Nick Train. His fund bought Fever-Tree for under 1,400p, not long after its sharp share price plunge earlier this year. He notes that the company needs to be “about more than tonic” and is eyeing stateside growth potential in ginger ale and soda water products. 

There is a definite future for Fever-Tree; its solid balance sheet should sustain the company through short-term trouble. 

However, its shares are too risky to buy at current prices. Upwards momentum for the stock makes it a good time to sell. I’d buy it again once the market adjusts. Just like Nick Train.

A Top Share with Enormous Growth Potential

Savvy investors like you won’t want to miss out on this timely opportunity…

Here’s your chance to discover exactly what has got our Motley Fool UK analyst all fired up about this ‘pure-play’ online business (yes, despite the pandemic!).

Not only does this company enjoy a dominant market-leading position…

But its capital-light, highly scalable business model has previously helped it deliver consistently high sales, astounding near-70% margins, and rising shareholder returns … in fact, in 2019 it returned a whopping £150m+ to shareholders in dividends and buybacks!

And here’s the really exciting part…

While COVID-19 may have thrown the company a curveball, management have acted swiftly to ensure this business is as well placed as it can be to ride out the current period of uncertainty… in fact, our analyst believes it should come roaring back to life, just as soon as normal economic activity resumes.

That’s why we think now could be the perfect time for you to start building your own stake in this exceptional business – especially given the shares look to be trading on a fairly undemanding valuation for the year to March 2021.

Click here to claim your copy of this special report now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top Growth Share… free of charge!

Rachael FitzGerald-Finch has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Our 6 'Best Buys Now' Shares

The renowned analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.

So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we're offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our 'no quibbles' 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee.

Simply enter your email address below to discover how you can take advantage of this.

I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement.