UPDATE 2-Monster Bev. profit misses, again rejects safety claims

Wed Nov 7, 2012 7:03pm EST
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* Third-quarter earnings/share $0.47 vs estimates $0.55

* Net sales rise 14.2 percent but miss analyst estimates

* CEO says lawsuit filed against co is "baseless"

* Shares down 12 percent after market

By Siddharth Cavale

Nov 7 (Reuters) - Monster Beverage Corp, facing investigations into the safety of its energy drinks, reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly profit as it stepped up promotional spending.

Shares in Monster, which again rejected the safety concerns as "baseless," slid 12 percent in after-hours trading even as the company reported rising sales.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said last month it was investigating reports of five deaths that may be related to Monster Beverage's namesake drinks.

The company is also being sued by the family of a 14-year old Maryland girl with a heart disorder who died after drinking two cans of Monster Energy drink in a 24-hour period.   Continued...