Coke Beats Estimates for 7th Straight Quarter

The company saw a "standout performance" in the U.S. amid higher prices for sodas and strong demand for water and sports drinks.
Matthew HellerOctober 26, 2016
Coke Beats Estimates for 7th Straight Quarter

Coca-Cola’s third-quarter earnings beat analysts’ estimates as higher prices for sodas and strong demand for water and sports drinks in North America offset continued sales weakness abroad.

The company on Wednesday reported a profit of $1.05 billion, or 24 cents a share, down from $1.45 billion, or 33 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding certain items, per-share earnings were 49 cents, while revenue declined 6.9% to $10.63 billion.

Analysts had forecast unadjusted earnings of 48 cents on revenue of $10.51 billion. It was the seventh straight quarter that Coca-Cola has surpassed Wall Street’s expectations.

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“We delivered results in line with our expectations,” CEO Muhtar Kent said in a news release. “We continued to see solid revenue results in our developed markets with 2% unit case volume growth and a continued focus on price realization.”

“The United States, Japan and Western Europe delivered standout performance underpinned by innovation and world-class marketing,” he added.

Worldwide organic revenue, which excludes foreign currency effects and the impact of acquisitions and divestitures, grew 3%, with noncarbonated drinks volume increasing 3%, mostly owing to water and sports drinks.

Soda volumes were even in the quarter globally as growth in three of the four geographic segments was offset by a decline in Latin America.

In North America, Coca-Cola gained share in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages for the 26th consecutive quarter. While sparkling beverages were flat for the quarter, growth in Sprite, Fanta and energy drinks helped to offset a decline in Diet Coke.

Overall beverage volume grew 2%, primarily driven by water and sports drinks.

Coke on Wednesday also reiterated its 2016 guidance, including 3% organic revenue growth and a 4% to 7% decline in comparable earnings per share. In trading Wednesday, the company’s shares dropped slightly to $42.44 .