The year 2012 is nearing its end, and now's a good opportunity to look at what happened throughout the year to the stocks you follow. If you know the important things that a company achieved, as well as any challenges it failed to overcome, then you can make a better decision about whether it really deserves a spot in your portfolio.

Today, I'll look at Jamba (NAS: JMBA) . The smoothie specialist came into 2012 having suffered a terrible year, but some positive trends among beverage-selling retailers has brought Jamba back into the spotlight. Below, you'll find more on what moved shares of Jamba this year.

Stats on Jamba

  

Year-to-date stock return

71%

Market cap

$173 million

Revenue, past 12 months

$229 million

Net loss, past 12 months

($2.6 million)

1-year revenue growth

2.1%

CAPS rating

***


Source: S&P Capital IQ.

What made Jamba soar in 2012?
Jamba had shares rebound sharply from its 2011 losses for a variety of reasons, but all of them boil down to better investor confidence. With a new management team that's pushing growth through refranchising and expanding menus to market the company as a wellness brand, Jamba has attracted positive attention from professional investor gatherings like the Value Investing Congress.

In addition, buyout interest in premium drink sellers has increased sharply in recent months. In November, Starbucks (NAS: SBUX) agreed to acquire tea purveyor Teavana (NYS: TEA) for $620 million, following up on its buy of juice specialist Evolution Fresh last year. Moreover, a private equity deal for Caribou Coffee (NAS: CBOU) vaulted shares of the coffee seller just last week. Buying Jamba could help answer growth woes for a number of Starbucks competitors, especially in the fast-food space.

With McDonald's (NYS: MCD) and Starbucks having moved aggressively into the smoothie market, Jamba has big competition and remains only seasonally profitable. But if its diversifying efforts are successful, there's no reason not to expect more consistent profits.

2012 has whetted investors' appetites for Jamba, but it's up to the company to justify their hopes in 2013. With a valuable brand at an attractive price, it'll be interesting to see if Jamba remains independent throughout the coming year.

Will McDonald's buy Jamba?
Jamba investors are hoping for a buyout from McDonald's or its peers. After making investors rich in 2011, McDonald's has been one of the worst-performing blue-chip stocks this year, so it could benefit from a buyout. Our top analyst on McDonald's will tell you whether you should be worried by this trend, and he'll shed light on whether McDonald's is a buy at today's prices. Click here now to read our premium research report on the company.

Click here to add Jamba to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.

The article How Jamba Juiced Investors' 2012 Returns originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool owns shares of McDonald's, Starbucks, and Teavana Holdings and has options positions on Starbucks. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend McDonald's and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Copyright © 1995 - 2012 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Socially Responsible Investing

Invest in companies with a conscience.

View Course »

Investing in Real Estate

Learn the basics of investing in real estate.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum