Stock Market Today: Coca-Cola’s Sluggish Sales and Waste Management’s Dividend Boost

Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.

Investors can expect a flat start to the stock market today, as the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) gained an insignificant six points in premarket trading. Global markets moved higher in overnight trading -- particularly the Nikkei index, which rallied by more than 3% after the Bank of Japan announced new incentives to spur bank lending. Next up on today's economic calendar is a fresh reading on the housing market that is expected to show that homebuilder confidence remained steady at 56. The National Association of Home Builders will release that report at 10 a.m. EST.

Meanwhile, news is breaking this morning on several stocks that could see heavy trading in today's session, including Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO  ) , Waste Management (NYSE: WM  ) , and Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK  ) .

Coca-Cola today said that a tough global selling environment kept pressure on revenue in the fourth quarter. Sales fell by 4% as the beverage giant saw worldwide volume tick higher by just 1%. Quarterly profit came in at $0.46 a share, 2% higher than last year and roughly on par with what Wall Street expected. Despite the lukewarm sales results, Coke did manage to grow its market share, and management pointed to a number of initiatives aimed at recovering momentum this year, including more innovation and a big boost in marketing spending. The stock is down 1% in premarket trading.

Waste Management today posted a 2% gain in quarterly revenue, to $3.5 billion. Adjusted profit was $0.56 a share, or slightly below expectations. Still, the company's strong 60% growth in annual cash flow gave it confidence to boost its dividend and increase its share repurchase plans for the year. Waste Management's outlook for 2014 also calls for adjusted earnings to grow by a solid 9%, to roughly $2.35 a share. The stock is unchanged in premarket trading.

Finally, Duke Energy this morning posted fourth-quarter earnings results that met analysts' expectations. Adjusted profit clocked in at $0.97 a share, compared to $0.62 a year ago, thanks to cost cuts that aided the bottom line. Total revenue of $6.15 billion was held back by weaker results from Duke's Midwest gas generation fleet. The company provided an outlook for 2014 that called for earnings of $4.50 a share, or about 3% higher than last year's haul. Duke's stock is unchanged in premarket trading.    

Three forever stocks
As every savvy investor knows, Warren Buffett didn't make billions by betting on half-baked stocks. He isolated his best few ideas, bet big, and rode them to riches, hardly ever selling. You deserve the same. That's why our CEO, legendary investor Tom Gardner, has permitted us to reveal The Motley Fool's 3 Stocks to Own Forever. These picks are free today! Just click here now to uncover the three companies we love. 


Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2842370, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/23/2014 2:02:08 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...


Advertisement