In today's world, most companies span several regions and sell across the world. As Foolish colleague Morgan Housel notes, 10 years ago, less than a third of S&P 500 revenue came from overseas. Today, more than half of the S&P 500's growth comes from overseas.

And that number is growing. The truth is, investors regularly underestimate how much demand comes from abroad. More importantly, for large, multinational corporations that have already established a presence in their home markets, much of their future growth comes from abroad.

With that in mind, today we're looking at Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO). We'll examine not only where its sales and earnings come from, but how its sales abroad have changed over time.

Where Coca-Cola's sales are today
Today, Coca-Cola collects 32% of its sales from its home North American market. The chart below breaks down Coca-Cola's sales by geography.

Editorial

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Coca-Cola's "Corporate" segment includes general corporate, bottling investments, and eliminations categories.

Where Coca-Cola's sales were five years ago
Five years ago, Coca-Cola actually collected 29% of its sales from North America, an increase over the past five years. As a proportion of sales, European and Asian markets have seen their influence on Coke's top line dwindle over the past five years.

Editorial

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Coca-Cola's "Corporate" segment includes general corporate, bottling investments, and eliminations categories.

But where are the profits coming from?
Another measure to look at is where Coca-Cola's profits actually come from. Sometimes companies can push into new geographies to expand their brand but have limited profits in the new location. That can be a sign of either a growth period, or tough dynamics in new markets. In the case of Coca-Cola, here's the breakdown of its 2010 operating profit before tax.

Editorial

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's. Profit share is based on percentage between units while excluding corporate losses.

It might surprise investors to see that while Coca-Cola's largest sales area is North America, its largest profit centers are Latin America, Asia, and Europe. Being able to collect higher profits from these areas could be a boon in coming years, as they continue to be some of the fastest-growing economies in the world.

Competitor checkup
One last point to check is how Coca-Cola's footprint compares to some of its peers across the broader beverage and food industry:

Company

Geographic Area With Most Sales

Percent of Sales

Coca-Cola North America 32%
PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP) United States 53%
Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS) United States 89%
Kraft (NYSE: KFT) United States 43%

Source: Capital IQ, a division of Standard & Poor's.

Not surprisingly, Coca-Cola is more geographically diversified than many peers in consumer goods.

Keep searching
If you're looking to stay updated on Coca-Cola, or any other companies listed above, make sure to add them to our free watchlist service, My Watchlist. It's free, and it helps you constantly stay updated on news and analysis on your favorite companies.

Eric Bleeker owns no shares of any companies listed above. The Motley Fool owns shares of PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended creating a diagonal call position in PepsiCo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.