CEO blames “injustice” for fizzling LaCroix water sales

The chief executive of National Beverage, best known for its LaCroix water brand, has a novel explanation for why the company’s sales and profits are drying up: “injustice.”

CEO Nick Caporella said in a statement late Thursday that the weak quarter — a nearly 40 percent drop in earnings and a 2.9 percent slide in sales — didn’t stem from “negligence nor mismanagement nor woeful acts of God,” but rather that “much of this was the result of injustice!”

While the executive didn’t elaborate on what he meant, the company has had it share of unwanted media attention over the last year. National Beverage faces claims and a class-action lawsuit over its labeling of its sparkling water as made with “natural” ingredients. It contends lab results showed ingredients supplied by a third-party were not artificially created.

LaCroix lawsuit highlights confusion over what “natural” means

National Beverage also drew negative press last summer as the 82-year-old CEO and his company in July issued a statement denying allegations reported by the Wall Street Journal that Caporella had sexually assaulted two airline pilots flying his corporate jet.

Investors don’t seem to be buying Caporella’s explanation of its poor results. National Beverage shares Friday were down $14.45, or 21 percent. Valued at more than $5 billion in late September, the stock’s decent in recent months has cut the company’s value in half.

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