Shares of Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) fell more than 3% in morning trading Tuesday after the king of pop reported second-quarter earnings that failed to impress. For the period ended June 27, Coke generated a profit of $0.58 per share, down from $0.59 per share a year ago. This was well below the $0.63 per share that analysts were expecting. Revenue also fell more than 1% to $12.5 billion in the quarter, while Wall Street had looked for $12.8 billion.
Despite declining profitability and revenue, there were some bright spots to Coke's second quarter. Global beverage volume climbed 3%, while worldwide sparkling beverage volume grew 2%. This was primarily driven by Coca-Cola's sponsorship of the FIFA World Cup and the global rollout of its "Share a Coke" campaign. Nevertheless, North America volume remained flat. Sodas including Coke, Fanta and Sprite saw gains, but Diet Coke declined. Diet Coke is the country's No. 2 soda, behind Coke and ahead of Pepsi.
Executives at Coca-Cola and PepsiCo have blamed a recent decline in diet sodas on concerns people have about artificial sweeteners such as aspartame. To address those worries, the companies have been working behind the scenes to assure dietitians and others about the safety of such sweeteners.
Coca-Cola's Sprite brand was the best performer in the quarter, with international volume up 6%. That compared to just 1% for Coke and 2% for its Fanta beverages. Looking ahead, Coca-Cola said it expects structural changes to have an unfavorable impact of $0.02 per share on the balance sheet in the second half of the year. Shares of Coca-Cola were trading at about $41 apiece as of 11 a.m.
-- Material from The Associated Press was used in this report.
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