Soda CEO Or Poetic Genius?

The literary stylings of National Beverage Corp CEO Nick Caporella extend way past yesterday’s weird earnings report.

National Beverage Corporation, the drink company behind Shasta and juggalo-fuel Faygo, got a lot of attention on Twitter Friday for their quarterly earnings. Not because they were disappointing — revenue was down 6% and profit was down 16% from last year — but because the press release was so darn weird. Originally noticed by Zach Seward at Quartz, the earnings release, entitled “National Beverage Reports Less Than Typical Results First Quarter FY2014,” was full of all sorts of strange gems from the company’s chairman and CEO NIck A. Caporella.

“From mega retailers to soft drink giants, the summer of ‘13 will symbolically claim its victims! Consequently, the culmination of nervousness of a ‘whiplashed’ consumer to the ‘knee jerk’ reaction of Big Cola,” read one portion of the release. (Here’s the press release in full)

Another passage went, “Good soft drinks are to the human race what sunshine is to a picnic! Thankfully, after the Fourth of July — normalcy returned to most markets and … hopefully attitudes.”

For the clincher, Caporella noted, “As I repeat from our Annual Report, look at our track record over the past twenty years — no mental degradation has occurred! Judge us by all four quarters next July 2014. Certainly, we have come to know — precious rainbows usually require both rain and sunshine! Team National’s results were obtained by diligence and untiring determination. We are Disappointed — Yes; Contrite — Certainly; Resilient — Absolutely.”

Caporella’s strange candor had business Twitter (yes, there is such a thing as business Twitter) in hysterics:

Ryan McCarthy


I expected something a lot more coherent from the CEO of a company whose ticker is $FIZZ

/ Via

Zach Seward


The maker of Shasta soda has issued the weirdest quarterly earnings report I’ve ever seen

/ Via

Downtown Josh Brown


The CEO of Shasta sounds like a crazy person. via @zseward

/ Via

Tim Fernholz


Figures the makers of Shasta would put out this weird earnings report:

/ Via

While this most recent release is quite extreme — a National Beverage spokeswoman confirmed that the quotes were genuine — it actually isn’t that out of line with Caporella’s past writings for the company.

Caporella has been with National Beverage since 1985, when he bought the company after the one he was already running, the telecom company Burnup & Sims, was the target of an attempted hostile takeover. Caporella now exclusively runs National Beverage, where he earns more than $6 million in annual compensation, according to Morningstar. His son Joseph Caporella, sits on the board and is President of the company.

The elder Caporella doesn’t just have a colorful business career, but a florid pen to match. Here are some highlights.

“One can read our regulatory filings to learn more of why and how this great year came about. Instead, I would like to share some feelings.”

Fiscal year 2013 earnings press release.

“Last May and June, we had picnic weather and record revenues; this year witnessed no picnics, sickening explosions and weeks of tornados.”

Fiscal year 2013 earnings press release.

“As most Americans ponder sequestering … we at National Beverage wish for America the wholesome spirit provided by — Refreshment

Third quarter 2013 earnings press release.

“Our Company is in the ‘Right Zone’ and our efforts are reflecting great results and — ‘competent’ value”

Third quarter 2013 earnings press release.

We strive to be ‘compassionate’ and honorably Patriotic — to our principles, to our great country and to our unique company. We ‘Hope’ to ‘relight’ the lamps of America’s High Road!

Third quarter 2013 earnings press release.

“Our genuine efforts and compassion should ignite fellow Americans to engage in similar efforts. After all—what better way to count our blessings than to boldly say A·M·E·R·I·C·A!”

Third quarter 2013 earnings press release.

“Yes! — we are National Beverage Corp… . steeped, brewed and enriched in — red, white and blue tradition

Second quarter 2013 press release.

”’…we continuously see red, yellow, orange, blue, brown, pink, green, purple and more. We are America’s Flavor Choice — We are National Beverage Corp.!’ Caporella winked.”

Dividend announcement, November 29, 2012.

“Smacks of strange times for certain, when major learning institutions choose to teach our cash flow/balance sheet philosophies to their aspiring business students, while any ‘by gosh/by chance’ wannabe analyst can be printed unabashed — simultaneously.”

Shareholder letter, April 19, 2012.

“This is America … 2012! (sad to say!)… P.S. I hope you feel better — I do!”

Shareholder letter, April 19, 2012.

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Matthew Zeitlin is a business reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Zeitlin reports on Wall Street and big banks.
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