Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) topped analysts’ earnings estimates on Wednesday after effectively cutting-costs throughout the pandemic. Nevertheless, the company experienced an “incremental” sales blow from December through February amid the growing amount of Covid-19 cases. Shares fell 1% during morning trading.
The company reported earnings of USD0.47 per share, compared to the expected USD0.42 a share. Revenue amounted to USD8.6 Billion, in comparison to analyst anticipated USD8.63 Billion. Coca-Cola noted fourth-quarter net income of USD1.46 Billion, or USD0.34 a share, below last year’s USD2.04 Billion, or USD0.47 per share.
Throughout the pandemic, the company has reduced its portfolio, with 11% of its global jobs being cut. Coke anticipates to spend anywhere from USD350 Million to USD550 Million on severance.
In February, the company experienced a dip in demand due to the rise in Covid-19 cases worldwide. Global volume plummeted by mid-single digits.
“It is still early days in the vaccination process and we’d expect to see further improvements in our business as vaccination become more widely available over the coming months,” CEO James Quincey told analysts on an earnings conference call.
“It’s clear that the pace and availability of vaccines will look different around the world and therefore we’ll likely see some level of asynchronous recovery depending both on vaccine distribution and other macroeconomic factors,” he added.
Coke foresees organic revenue growth in 2021 within the high single digits as well as adjusted earnings growth in between high single digits and low double digits.
“While we’re confident we will see recovery this year and expect to deliver 2021 earnings that are at or above 2019 levels, we’ve provided a wider range than usual to account for lingering uncertainty in the near term as well as the potential for the acceleration to be asynchronous in nature,” CFO John Murphy said.