Monster Beverage shares sink on earnings miss

It's been a bad few weeks for Monster Beverage.

Shares of the energy drink maker plunged more than 12% in after-hours trading Wednesday, as the company reported quarterly results that missed analysts' expectations.

Monster's (MNST) earnings came in at 47 cents a share, short of analysts' estimates of 55 cents. Sales hit $542 million, up 14% from last year but short of analysts' projected $578 million.

Monster CEO Rodney Sacks acknowledged that sales growth had been "less robust" than in previous quarters, but said October sales were up 28% versus a year ago.

The news follows an announcement last month from the Food and Drug Administration that it had received "adverse incident reports" of five deaths involving Monster energy drinks, although the agency added that it had not established direct links in any case. Monster denied that its products had contributed to any fatalities, but shares sold off sharply following the announcement.

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