Jones Just Can't Get a Break

It seems like only yesterday the quirky makes of watermelon and turkey-flavored fizzy beverages was wooing us with photographic non sequitur labels and ambitious dreams of cans of hipster soda stocking the shelves at Target. But today Jones Soda took another hit when RedChip, a San Francisco-based analysis firm dropped Jones Soda from its pool of covered stocks. RedChip focuses on small, often overlooked companies expected to show strong performance in the market.

One year ago, the small company was a stock market darling. It closed at $24.75 a share on this day in 2007 and was headed north. But last summer, it started sliding--fast--on news that maybe the company wasn't doing as well as everyone had thought. By the fall, it had sunk to around $10 a share and on Sept. 7, Hagens Berman, a class-action-hungry firm based in Seattle, filed suit saying Jones Soda misled investors about the health of the company. The stock continued to slide. By the end of 2007, CEO Peter van Stolk had stepped down.

In February of this year, the company finally got a little good news with Alaska Air announcing Jones Soda would replace Coke for the inflight beverage service. But then on March 7 the U.S. District Court gave Hagens Berman the thumbs up to move forward with the securities suit and 10 days later Jones Soda reported its annual financial results showing an $11.6 million loss. That day the stock hit a year low of $2.36 per share, less than 10 percent of its high-flying trading only a year ago. The share price started to recover, closing for the last two days at around the $3.80 mark. But the price is sliding again on today's announcement, trading around the $3.60.

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