Coca-Cola Earnings Meet Estimates; Revenue Falls Short
Coca-Cola said net income rose 4 percent during the third quarter, in line with Wall Street's estimates, but sales growth fell short and shares traded lower.
The world's largest soft-drink maker, with brands such as Sprite, Fanta and Minute Maid, was hurt by revenue declines in Europe and Asia where it sold more lower-priced drinks.
The company also felt the pinch of a stronger U.S. dollar, which reduces the value of its overseas sales.
Coca-Cola gets the majority of its sales from outside the United States, so shifts in currency can have a noticeable effect on results.
The company's noticeably thinner margins in the Pacific region, mainly in India and Thailand "tells me there's a little bit of a problem in China and that could be the big thing right now, " David Silver, an analyst at Wall Street Strategies, said to CNBC. That's a huge growth area all across the Pacific...that is a huge spot for investment."
The company said net income rose to $2.31 billion, or 50 cents per share, in the third quarter that ended on Sept. 28, up from $2.22 billion, or 48 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding items, earnings were 51 cents per share, in line with analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue rose 1 percent to $12.34 billion. Analysts were expecting revenue of $12.41 billion.
But global sales volume, which strips out the impact of currency fluctuations, rose 4 percent during the period. The volume gains were more pronounced in emerging markets, where Coke looks to gain from rising consumer incomes there.
In North America, volume rose 2 percent during the quarter, while international volume gained 5 percent.
Sales of Coke's "still" beverages, which includes bottle teas such as Gold Peak and Honest Tea as well as sports drinks such as Powerade and Dasani water, grew at a faster pace than the company's carbonated beverages.
However, despite the volume gains, revenue fell 8 percent in Europe and 4 percent in the Pacific region, as the company sold a larger percentage of lower-priced drinks.