Coke earnings meet expectations
The beverage company's fourth-quarter profit rises 55%, boosted by sales in China and India.
By Joseph Woelfel, TheStreet
Coca-Cola (KO) reported fourth-quarter earnings that were in line with analysts’ estimates as international sales soared.
Coca-Cola said earnings rose 55% to $1.54 billion, or 66 cents a share, from $995 million, or 43 cents, a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected a 66-cent profit.
Case volume in the quarter rose 5%. In emerging markets such as China and India, unit case volume rose 29% and 20%, respectively. The company also achieved 12% unit case volume growth in 118 countries where per capita consumption of Coca-Cola products is less than 150 8-ounce servings per year.
The Eurasian and African group's unit case volume increased 5% in the quarter, while the Latin American group continued to deliver strong unit case volume growth with 7% growth. The European group's unit case volume increased 1% in the quarter.
Net revenue was $7.51 billion, rising from $7.13 billion a year earlier and beating estimates.
Coca-Cola expects currencies to have a slightly positive impact on 2010 operating income, with the benefit more heavily weighted to the first half of 2010. It also anticipates that its underlying effective tax rate on operations for 2010 will be 23% to 23.5%.
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Investors are anxious to see if hiring can maintain its strong pace in the second half of the year.
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