Coca-Cola Co | $KO Stock | Diet Soda Sales Boost Q3 Earnings


Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO)

Coca-Cola on Tuesday reported fiscal 2018 third quarter top and bottom lines that surpassed expectations of analysts, boosted by improved diet soda sales.

The Schweppes and Powerade maker also benefited from the non-carbonated drinks and sugar-free sodas investments that it made earlier this year to take care of changing consumer tastes.

In August, the beverage giant bought Costa – the second-largest coffee chain in the world – for $1.5 billion. It also acquired a minority stake in a sports drink brand backed by basketball star Kobe Bryant, to fend off competition from Gatorade energy drink.

Shares of the Atlanta-based company jumped 1.2% to change hands at $47 before the opening bell. The stock has rallied 1.3% year over year and 1.2% year to date.

KO Earnings & Outlook

The beverage maker announced net income of $1.88 billion, or $0.44 per share, compared with $1.45 billion, or $0.33 per share, in the comparable period a year earlier. After stripping out special items such as discontinued operations, earnings were $0.58 per share.

Analysts were expecting adjusted earnings of $0.55 per share, according to figures compiled by Refinitiv (formerly Thompson Reuters). Net sales came in at $8.25 billion, which is a decline of nearly 9% from $9.08 billion in the same period last year. Coca-Cola said the drop was caused by the refranchising of its bottling operations. However, the company managed to beat Wall Street expectations of $8.17 billion revenues.

For full year, Coca-Cola still expects adjusted earnings to grow between 8% to 10% and organic sales to go up at least 4%.

Coca-Cola CEO Comments

“We continue to be encouraged by our performance year-to-date as we accelerate our evolution as an even more consumer-centric, total beverage company,” commented James Quincey, President and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company. “The recent leadership appointments are intended to help accelerate the transformation of our company.”

Coca-Cola Company Profile

The Coca-Cola Co. engages in the manufacture, market, and sale of non-alcoholic beverages which include sparkling beverages and still beverages such as waters; enhanced waters; juices and juice drinks; ready-to-drink teas and coffees; and energy and sports drinks.

Its brands include Coca-Cola, Diet Coke, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Minute Maid, Georgia, Powerade, Del Valle, Schweppes, Aquarius, Minute Maid Pulpy, Dasani, Simply, Glaceau Vitaminwater, Bonaqua, Gold Peak, Fuze Tea, Glaceau Smartwater, and Ice Dew.

It operates through the following segments: Eurasia and Africa, Europe, Latin America, North America, Asia Pacific, Bottling Investments, and Corporate.

Its competitors include PepsiCo, Inc., Unilever, Mondelez International, Inc., The Kraft Heinz Company., Nestle S.A., Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc., and Suntory Beverage & Food Limited. The company was founded by Asa Griggs Candler in 1886 and is headquartered in Atlanta, GA. – CNN Money