Monster Beverage reported on Thursday a third-quarter net profit of $121.6 million, or 70 cents a share, up from $92.2 million, or 53 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. Net sales increased 7.7% from last year to $636 million. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting, on average, per-share earnings of 66 cents a share and revenue of $641.8 million. As a percentage of sales, gross profit rose to 53.8% from last year's 52.1%, and distribution costs slipped to 4.5% from 4.6%. The stock inched up 0.1% in after-hours trade Thursday. The stock, which closed at an all-time high of $101.23 on Monday, has run up 48% year to date through Thursday's close, compared with a 9.9% gain in the S&P 500.
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