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3 Highlights From The Coca-Cola Company's Recent Earnings

Nicole Seghetti
February 18, 2014

Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) reported earnings before the opening bell on Tuesday. Here's what you need to know about the company's results.

Quarterly and full-year 2013 recap
The cola giant delivered earnings of $0.38 per share for the fourth quarter, which was below Wall Street expectations. Full-year 2013 EPS came in at $1.90, down 3%. Revenue fell 4% in the fourth quarter and 2% for the full-year 2013. Coke attributed part of the decline to currency headwinds. Global sales volume rose 1% for the quarter and 2% for the full year, signaling sluggish growth for the beverage giant. Coke shares traded down more than 3% Tuesday morning after the company issued its results.

Just last week, rival PepsiCo unveiled fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 results. Given the same currency headwinds, macroeconomic volatility, and trend of decreasing carbonated soft drink consumption, PepsiCo weathered thorough and displayed a more impressive quarter and year, attributed mostly to its strength in snacks. Snack food sales increased 3% year over year, while beverages grew 1%. 

Quest for worldwide diversification
Coca-Cola's geographic diversification prevents it from being too dependent on any one region for its revenues. For example, even though Eurasia and Africa experienced solid volume growth, consumption was flat in Latin America and down 1% in North America. 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 company's is one of Coke's biggest advantages, but it also comes with challenges. Just as in Q3, during the fourth quarter, the company was negatively affected by currency fluctuations. Yet, this is temporary and a dynamic that all global companies face. While Coke's brands have come to dominate many parts of the world, one big hurdle the cola giant faces going forward is that it must succeed in regional markets, too.

Changing strategies
Soda sales in the U.S. have been in decline for roughly a decade<