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Why Coke Investors Are Nervous

By Mark Reeth and Taylor Muckerman – Feb 18, 2014 at 3:15PM

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Here's why the No. 3 brand in the world could be in trouble.

Shares of Coca-Cola (KO 0.10%) pulled back today after the company announced in its earnings report that it continues to struggle with headwinds domestically. There has been ongoing concern among investors, as U.S. consumers continue to trend toward healthier eating and lifestyle habits, that Coca-Cola could face a secular decline in the popularity of its sugary drinks, and this report only fanned the fire for those concerns. The company maintains that international growth is its focus, but on today's Stock of the Day, Motley Fool analyst Taylor Muckerman discusses why Coke's growth strategy isn't working at the moment.

Coke recently signed a large deal with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR.DL) that has been making headlines on the possibility that the two will develop Keurig Cold cups that will allow consumers to make their own Coca-Cola at home. However, this product wouldn't be slated to hit the market until 2015, and Taylor sees it having a much larger impact on Green Mountain than on Coke.

So is dividend blue-chip stock Coca-Cola a buy after the pullback today? Not to Taylor. He sees the company's goal of "restarting momentum" in 2014 as very concerning for a company of this size, and its focus on cutting $1 billion in spending to increase its marketing budget as more concerning still. Considering how ubiquitous the Coca-Cola brand already is, more marketing spending may not be the answer.

Mark Reeth has no position in any stocks mentioned. Taylor Muckerman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola. 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.

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Coca-Cola Stock Quote
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