Jones Soda Signs Deal With Walmart

CHICAGO (AP) — Jones Soda Co. shares gained nearly 84 percent Thursday, after the drink maker said it inked a deal to sell its soda at Walmart stores. THE SPARK: Jones Soda said the deal will expose its products to millions of new customers while boosting the number of distribution outlets by 10 percent.

CHICAGO (AP) — Jones Soda Co. shares gained nearly 84 percent Thursday, after the drink maker said it inked a deal to sell its soda at Walmart stores.

THE SPARK: Jones Soda said the deal will expose its products to millions of new customers while boosting the number of distribution outlets by 10 percent. Jones will sell six-packs of assorted flavored soda at 3,800 Walmart stores.

THE BIG PICTURE: Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is the world's largest retailer and Jones has struggled in recent months. Known for its quirky flavors, Jones has been losing money as sales fell — careening down 45 percent in the most recent quarter.

THE ANALYSIS: Investors think the distribution deal with Wal-Mart is sure to boost the tiny company's fortunes.

SHARE ACTION: By mid-afternoon, Jones Soda shares were up 43 cents, or 63.3 percent to $1.11. They reached as high as $1.25 earlier in the day. The stock has traded between 40 cents to $1.42 per share over the past year.

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