Green Mountain Makes Keurig's Import Data Private

Date : 12/15/2011 @ 5:41PM
Source : Dow Jones News
Stock : (MM) (GMCR)
Quote : 91.67  0.0 (0.00%) @ 2:05AM

Green Mountain Makes Keurig's Import Data Private

Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR)
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Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (GMCR) says it has requested that data related to the importing of its Keurig single-serve coffee brewers be kept confidential as of October, making recent reports based on their importing paperwork not comparable with past months.

In accordance with the beginning of its fiscal 2012, Green Mountain decided to no longer allow public access to its bills of lading, or the documents issued to a shipper acknowledging what goods are on board along with their destination, which is a common practice among publicly traded companies.

However, companies who analyze these documents have released data based on October and November's numbers this week that indicate declines, causing Green Mountain's shares to drop.

Over the past week, Green Mountain has fallen 21%, closing at $44.35 on Thursday.

For example, one research firm, Zepol Corp., said Green Mountain had zero imports of Keurig brewers last month, but Green Mountain says that's just because it is now kept confidential.

Janney Capital Markets analyst Mitchell Pinheiro said the data are clearly flawed, and conclusions about Green Mountain's market share and the overall single-serve coffee industry cannot be drawn from them.

Still, he says year-over-year brewer growth is bound to decelerate because there are only so many brewers sold in the U.S. each year. Janney estimates Keurig sold 32% to 35% of single-serve brewers in the U.S. in its fiscal 2011.

"While brewer growth is slowing, the rate of growth of the installed base is more important, as it is the primary driver of K-Cup consumption," Pinheiro said.

The questions regarding Keurig imports come after Green Mountain reported underwhelming fourth-quarter earnings last month and endured extensive allegations from hedge-fund manager David Einhorn of Greenlight Capital Inc.

Green Mountain attributed its fourth-quarter earnings miss to a number of factors, primarily changes in wholesale customer ordering patterns from grocery and club channels.

However, the company said its retailers were expecting high Keurig and K-cup sales over the holidays, despite some indications of declining consumer confidence.

-By Annie Gasparro, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2244;

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