The market's three major indexes were all up slightly on Tuesday:
Dow Jones Industrial Average
While market news reporters were making up reasons for the day's tiny movements (hand-wringing in Europe ... again), two Dow components reported their quarterly earnings: Coca-Cola
Coke's Q4 sales grew 5% to $11 billion. Because of previous-year gains on the purchase of bottling operations, earnings fell 71% to $1.65 billion, or $0.72 per share. However, on an adjusted basis, its $0.79-per-share EPS beat analyst expectations of $0.77 a share. Coke shares were up 0.8% on the day.
What we learned from a strategy standpoint is that Coke is looking to cut $650 million in annual costs by the end of 2015 while also raising its marketing spend. PepsiCo reports Thursday and is expected to announce more marketing as well. Some analysts are also calling for cost cuts as both beverage companies battle higher commodity costs.
Bigger picture, remember that Coke and Pepsi have been quite adept at running a virtual duopoly in non-alcoholic beverages. Expect them both to "play fair" and not try to undercut each other on pricing. You'll see more on that when Pepsi reports.
Meanwhile, Disney shares rose 1.3% as first-quarter earnings hit $1.46 billion, or $0.80a share. That beat analyst estimates of $0.75a share. However, sales came in under and rose by only 1%.
Sales were hurt by a 16% drop at the movie studios versus a 2010 bolstered by Toy Story 3, but earnings were up across each of the three largest segments -- 10% at the studios, 12% at the media networks (which include ESPN), and 18% at the parks and resorts.
And in a blow to Redbox et al., Disney has finally joined other studios in forcing DVD-rental companies to wait at least 28 days after release before renting a movie.
If you're interested in Coke or Disney as investments, look beyond the quarterly (and certainly daily) results and focus on the long term. And for some more ideas, check out our free report: "Secure Your Future With 11 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks."