Coca-Cola Posted Better-than-Expected Earnings

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) on Tuesday announced first-quarter revenue and earnings that beat analysts’ estimates, driven by growth in its Diet Coke Brand and sparkling waters.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said net revenue decreased 16 percent to $7.6 billion in the first quarter. The decline in revenue was due to refranchising of its bottling operations. Analysts’ polled by Thomson Reuters had estimated revenue of $7.34 billion.

First-quarter net income was about $1.37 billion, or 32 cents per share, compared with earnings of $1.18 billion, or 27 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, the company earned 47 cents per share, topping analysts’ estimate of 46 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters.

"We're encouraged with our first quarter performance as we continue our evolution as a consumer-centric, total beverage company," said James Quincey, President and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. "We have the right strategies in place and remain confident in our ability to achieve our full year guidance."

The company said volumes of its Diet Coke brand rose 3 percent in the first quarter, driven by the launch of Diet Coke drinks in sleeker bottles and new flavors like Feisty Cherry.

The company also saw growth in its healthier drinks. its Coca-Cola Zero Sugar brand and Dasani and Smartwater brands both generated double-digit growth.

Despite the better-than-expected quarterly earnings results, the company’s shares fell nearly 2 percent to $43.1 in the early trading on Tuesday.

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