MONTPELIER — Green Mountain Coffee Roasters reported $869 million in sales for the third quarter on the way to what it projects to be its third straight year of rising sales, while its stock price has continued its slump.
Despite anticipated competition, the company continues to believe it will be the leader in single-serve brewing machine products, CEO Larry Blanford told shareholders and analysts during a conference call. Starbucks is challenging Green Mountain Coffee’s popular Keurig brewer with its own single-serving machine.
GMCR sales have climbed annually despite the stock market woes, rising to $1.36 billion in 2010 and $2.65 billion in 2011. Chief Financial Officer Fran Rathke said Wednesday the company estimates sales for this year will be around $3.8 billion.
Estimates for 2014 followed the trend, with projections of $4.4 billion to $4.6 billion in sales.
But colossal nosedives have taken down the company’s 52-week high stock price of $115.98 a share.
In May when Green Mountain Coffee Roasters announced its second-quarter earnings, its stock price dropped from nearly $50 a share to less than $26.
The stock price Wednesday at the close of the New York Stock Exchange was $17.91, with an after-hours trade price that reached $20 a share around 5:50 p.m.
Along with the sales forecast, the company also announced it will repurchase up to $500 million of its stock over the next two years, an alternative to giving shareholders higher dividends and a process used to signal that shares may be undervalued.
The company also announced the addition of a board seat, bringing the board to nine people. Norman H. Wesley, former CEO and chairman of Fortune Brands, was named to the new seat.
Company officials also elaborated on new products expected later for this year.
The company has already teased promotion of a new Vue brewer with radio-frequency identification technology that allows the machine to automatically adjust the brewing process for various portion packets, such as discerning how long to brew a particular product.
Company officials said Wednesday the new technology allows customers in an office or gym who might be unfamiliar with the brewer to easily adapt. A chip in the lid of a portion pack will have the brewing machine display instructions automatically.
“In order to ensure brewer availability on retail shelves for the holiday season, all of our anticipated holiday brewer units must be on hand in North America by early October,” Rathke said in a news release.
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