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Nov 8 (Reuters) - Beverage company Jones Soda Co JSD.V JSDA.O posted a surprise quarterly loss, hurt by higher expenses, sending shares down more than 15 percent.
The Seattle-based company, which makes unusual sodas such as fish taco and salmon, green pea, and turkey and gravy, posted a net loss of about $1.5 million, or 6 cents a share, compared with net income of $195,000, or 1 cent a share, a year ago.
Net revenue rose 15.1 percent to $11.7 million, and reflects a reduction of $1.3 million for promotion allowances and slotting fees compared with a reduction of $60,000 last year, the company said.
Jones, known for sweetening its sodas with cane sugar instead of high-fructose corn syrup, said operating expenses as a percentage of net revenue for the third quarter increased to 52.1 percent from 36.8 percent a year earlier.
Higher expenses related to the addition of new sales and marketing personnel and an increase in promotional spending in the carbonated soft drink channel hurt quarterly results, the company said.
Analysts on average were expecting the company to earn 2 cents a share for the quarter, before exceptional items, on revenue of $13.9 million, according to Reuters Estimates.
The company's shares, which closed at $8.88 Thursday on the Nasdaq, were trading at $7.50 in late electronic trade. (Reporting by Shikhar Balwani in Bangalore; Editing by Deepak Kannan)