Coca-Cola guidance falls short, while earnings meet estimates and revenue beats

Coca-Cola on Thursday delivered guidance that fell short of estimates, but quarterly earnings were in line with estimates and revenue beat the consensus prediction.

Its premarket stock price was down slightly.

Earnings excluding items came in at 37 cents a share in the fourth quarter, down from 38 cents per share in the prior-year period. Revenue dropped to $9.41 billion from $10.01 billion in the comparable quarter a year earlier.

Wall Street was expecting global food and beverage company the company to deliver earnings of 37 cents per share on $9.13 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters.

Looking ahead to fiscal year 2017, Coke expects earnings to decline 1 to 4 percent. Wall Street had expected earnings to grow to $1.97 a share from $1.91 per share in the recently ended fiscal year.

Coke noted that its flagship market in North America continues to outperform the industry. In that market, net revenue rose 8 percent during the quarter, "outperforming total retail value growth for both the North America nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverage industry and U.S. consumer packaged goods companies," CEO Muhtar Kent said.

The company remains on track to complete the refranchising of its company-owned bottling operations in the U.S. by year-end. During the quarter, it also reached a deal to refranchise its bottling operations in China.

Late last year, Coca-Cola said its current COO would succeed Kent as CEO, effective May 1. Kent will remain board chairman.