Mar 9, 2019

LaCroix CEO blames poor sales on insecticide lawsuit

Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Shares of National Beverage Corp., the maker of popular seltzer water LaCroix, fell 16% after the company fell short of earnings expectations.

Why it matters: There's a class-action lawsuit that accuses LaCroix of having chemicals also found in cockroach insecticide. CEO Nick Caporella blamed poor sales on that lawsuit, which he referred to as an "injustice" in a statement, as clarified by a National Beverage spokesman.

This was CEO Nick Caporella's explanation for what happened:

"We are truly sorry for these results stated above. Negligence nor mismanagement nor woeful acts of God were not the reasons — much of this was the result of injustice!
"Managing a brand is not so different from caring for someone who becomes handicapped. Brands do not see or hear, so they are at the mercy of their owners or care providers who must preserve the dignity and special character that the brand exemplifies. It is important that LaCroix's true character is not devalued intentionally — in any way."

A National Beverage spokesman later clarified that the "injustice" was the class-action insecticide lawsuit. And on the CEO’s comparison of managing a brand to caring for a handicapped person, the spokesman said that Caporella meant that "it just requires a lot of tender, loving care."

Go deeper: See how Americans view the politics of brands

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Biden bets it all on South Carolina

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Most Joe Biden admirers Axios interviewed in South Carolina, where he's vowed to win today's primary, said they're unfazed by his embarrassing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada.

Why it matters: Biden has bet it all on South Carolina to position himself as the best alternative to Bernie Sanders — his "good buddy," he tells voters before skewering Sanders' record and ideas.

Coronavirus updates: Market ends worst week since financial crisis

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The stock market ended its worst week since the financial crisis, prompting the Fed to release a statement. Meanwhile, the WHO warned that countries are losing their chance to contain the novel coronavirus and raised its global risk assessment to "very high" Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,860 people and infected more than 84,000 others in over 60 countries and territories outside the epicenter in mainland China. The number of new cases reported outside China now exceed those inside the country.

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California coronavirus: Latest case has no recent history of international travel

Gov. Gavin Newsom. Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A new case of the novel coronavirus in California was announced on Friday after Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that 33 people had tested positive for the virus, noting the risk to the public remains low.

What's new: An adult woman with chronic health conditions in Santa Clara County who "did not recently travel overseas" or come into contact with anyone known to be ill was confirmed to have contracted the coronavirus on Friday by CDC and California Department of Public Health officials.

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