Coca-Cola Shares Rise as Profit, Sales Top Forecasts

Coca-Colareleased first-quarter earnings and revenue that topped analysts' forecasts on increased prices and volume, pushing its shares higher in trading onTuesday.

Coca-Cola bottles
Coca-Cola bottles

The beverage company posted earnings excluding items of 89 cents per share, up from 86 cents per share last year.

Revenue came in at $11.14 billion, an increase from $10.55 billion one year ago.

Analysts expected Coca-Cola to post earnings excluding items of 87 cents per share on revenue of $10.82 billion, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

The company's shares rose by more than 2 percent on Tuesday. (Get the latest quotes for Coca-Cola here.)

The maker of Sprite, Minute Maid orange juice and vitaminwater also said it was on track with a productivity program aiming to save $550 million to $650 million a year by the end of 2015.

Soft drink sales have been strong in developing markets such as India and China with increasing numbers of middle class consumers. But growth has been harder to come by in the mature markets of Western Europe and North America, where growing health consciousness and struggling economies have curbed demand.

Still, Coke said quarterly volume rose 2 percent in North America and 1 percent in Europe. Volume also rose 5 percent in Latin America, 9 percent in Eurasia and Africa and 8 percent in the Pacific region. Overall, volume rose 5 percent.

In the key North American market, revenue rose 5 percent, helped by a 3 percentage point increase in price and mix of products and the acquisition of a small bottler. Profit in the segment declined though, due to higher commodity costs and one less selling day.

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