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Coca-Cola Profit Tops View, But Shares Fall

Coca-Cola reported better-than-expected quarterly profit before one-time items, helped by the weak dollar, and its shares rose 1.6 percent in premarket trade.

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The world's largest soft-drink maker said net income was $1.42 billion, or 61 cents per share, in the second quarter ended June 27, compared with $1.85 billion, or 80 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding a charge of 40 cents per share at bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises, which is about 35 percent-owned by Coca-Cola, the company earned $1.01 per share.

Analysts' average earnings forecast was 96 cents per share, according to Reuters Estimates.

Net operating revenue for the quarter rose 17 percent to $9.05 billion.

Coca-Cola , which derives about 70 percent of its revenue from outside North America, said 9 percentage points of the revenue increase was due to the weak dollar, which boosts the value of international sales when they are converted to dollars for inclusion in the company's financial statements.

The revenue rise included 3 percentage points from higher sales of drink concentrate, 2 points from bottler acquisitions, and 3 points from higher prices and more sales of higher-priced products.

Overall unit case volume rose 3 percent, led by a 5 percent increase in markets abroad. North American volume was flat.

The company said sales growth was strong in Latin America, China, Turkey, India, Eastern Europe, Southern Eurasia, the Middle East and North and West Africa. Volume fell 1 percent in Japan and the European Union.

Like other soft-drink makers, Coke's U.S. sales have slowed as consumers grapple with soaring food and fuel costs, declining home values and job uncertainty.

Also, increasingly health-conscious consumers have been opting for drinks seen as good for you, such as bottled teas or vitamin-enhanced waters.

The company, whose brands include Minute Maid juice, Powerade sports drink and Dasani bottled water, said it is targeting $400 million to $500 million in annual cost-savings by the end of 2011.

Coke shares fell over 4 percent in early trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

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