SODA Vs. JAZZ

 | Jun 06, 2013 | 3:30 PM EDT  | Comments
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Jazz Pharmaceuticals (JAZZ) and SodaStream (SODA) are two entirely different companies in different industries with different outlooks. Yet, both created new highs this week, crossing $70 for the first time.

SodaStream is being whispered as a possible acquisition target for PepsiCo (PEP) or Coca-Cola (K) for a $100 bid. So, which of these $70 stocks will see $100 first?

Do You Still Think It's a Fad?

SodaStream has been a wildly fluctuating stock for the better part of three years. A large reason for the volatility is the 43.6% of its float that remains short. These shorts continuously argued that SodaStream is a fad and that its at-home soda system will never be widely accepted in the U.S.

While bears argue that it's a fad, SodaStream is expected to generate growth of 25% in 2013. During its most recent analyst-crushing quarter, the company saw growth of 89% year-over-year in the Americas. The company's home soda maker unit grew 78%, gas refill was up 101% and syrup rose 119%, which paints a remarkably optimistic long-term picture for the company.

Looking ahead, SodaStream has only penetrated 1% of the U.S. market. It has partnerships with esteemed distributors such as Wal-Mart, so the company's attractiveness as an acquisition target couldn't be brighter. Currently, it is trading at 32x earnings (and 3x sales) with operating margins of 10%. The company has seen some weakness in margin performance, but with rapid expansion, the sacrifice of margins could be welcome at this time.

Widely Diversified and Under the Radar

Jazz Pharmaceuticals is a biotechnology company. Much like SodaStream, controversy surrounds the company, with the majority of sales coming from eye drug Xyrem.

Unlike most $4 billion biotechs, Jazz is well diversified, with nearly a dozen marketed products. In 2011, Xyrem accounted for 88% of the company's total sales, but because of its expansion, Xyrem currently accounts for just 60% of total sales.

During its most recent quarter, the company produced sales growth of 91.4% and is anticipating growth of more than 40% in 2013. Like SodaStream, margins have tightened a bit, but with operating margins of almost 40%, this is still a highly-profitable company.

The stock is trading at just 13.5x earnings, which is surprisingly reasonable for the biotech bull market.

First to $100 Wins!

SodaStream and Jazz both made new highs in the low $70 and both have a lot of positives in their favor. Realistically, if both companies continue to operate with this level of execution, it will be a quick trip for both stocks to reach $100. But if I had to pick one, I'd go with JAZZ.

Although I am a fundamental investor, SodaStream's short presence and the fact that it's 52% more volatile than the market does bother me. Jazz Pharmaceuticals is growing twice as quickly and trades at a 50% discount to earnings compared to SodaStream.

Moreover, Jazz's short presence is almost absent with just 4% of its float being short. The fact that it trades 60% as volatile as the market is particularly encouraging to its trend. It's is a stock that trades with its fundamentals while SodaStream may underperform at times.

My only real issue with Jazz is the possibility of generic Xyrem, but with the company seeing growth among other drugs and with it not facing generic competition in the immediate future, I think it's a remarkably sound choice.

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