National Beverage's fiscal Q3 profit jumps 48.6% year-over-year to US$5.5.M as sales rose 1.6% to US$131.5M

FT. LAUDERDALE, Florida , March 11, 2010 () – National Beverage Corp., a maker of soft-drinks, juices and specialty beverages, reported Thursday that its profit jumped in its fiscal third quarter on stronger sales.

The company, based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., reported it earned $5.5 million, or 12 cents per share, in the quarter ended Jan. 30, versus $3.7 million, or 8 cents per share in the same quarter of the prior year.

Sales grew to $131.5 million from $129.4 in the prior period.

Nick A. Caporella, National Beverage chairman and CEO, said the company's focus is on expanding its brand, package and distribution opportunities. Its brands include Shasta, Faygo, Everfresh, LaCroix and Rip It.

"While comments relative to our excitement about having the best third quarter in our history may be in order -- our caution and the most recent severe weather conditions demand ... modesty," he said in a statement.

Shares of the beverage company closed unchanged Thursday at $11.50.

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