Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) reported earnings before the opening bell rang on Tuesday. Here's what you need to know about the company's results.
The cola giant delivered earnings of $0.53 per share for the quarter, which was in line with Wall Street expectations. Revenue fell 3% in the third quarter to $12.03 billion, which is slightly shy of what analysts expected. Coke attributed part of the decline to a deconsolidation of bottling operations in the Philippines and Brazil. But the company recouped that on the bottom line, where it saw a 6% increase in net income. Global sales volume rose 2% for the quarter, signaling sluggish growth for the beverage giant. Coke shares traded relatively flat after the company issued its results Tuesday morning.
Coca-Cola's geographic diversification prevents it from being too dependent on any one region for its revenues. For example, even though Thailand, Vietnam, China, and India experienced solid volume growth, consumption was flat in Latin America and down 1% in Europe. When Coca-Cola experiences volume declines in some regions, it oftentimes simultaneously enjoys volume gains in other parts of the world.
Being one of the world's most diversified companies is one of Coke's biggest advantages, but it also comes with challenges. During the third quarter, the company was negatively affected by currency fluctuations. Yet this is temporary and it's a dynamic that all global companies face. While Coke's brands have come to dominate many corners of the globe (especially in developed markets), one big hurdle the cola giant faces going forward is that it must succeed in regional markets, too.
Changing product mix
Sales of traditional full-calorie sodas in the U.S. have been in decline for roughly a decade. More recently, Coke has seen diet soda sales under pressure. But Coke's noncarbonated beverages continue to see a boost. For the third quarter, worldwide volume for noncarbonated drinks rose 3%, fueled by sales of products such as Honest Tea, Fuze Tea, and Dasani bottled water.
Since noncarbonated drinks are growing at a faster rate than carbonated, Coca-Cola's future success rests in its lineup of these offerings. Noncarbonated beverages currently comprise roughly 25% of the company's global sales, a figure that'll likely increase in the coming years as consumers continue to ditch sodas for healthier options like teas and waters.
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