On July 23, beverage giant Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) will hold its 2nd quarter earnings call. While investors should always take a long-term view when evaluating a company for investment, it's important for investors to review a company's quarterly earnings and announcements to see if the company is taking steps toward meeting its long-term objective of maximizing shareholder value. With that said here are four things you should look for in Coca-Cola's next earnings call.
Carbonated soda turnaround
Coca-Cola has seen its fair share of struggles in its carbonated soda volume. Overall the company saw its carbonated soda volume growth rate decline steadily over the past three years moving into negative territory in the most recent quarter. In the saturated North American market, carbonated soda volume resided in a negative trajectory since 2012. As result, on June 10, the company introduced the popular "Share a Coke" marketing campaign in North America and it also runs in Western Europe to help spruce up its carbonated soda volume.
While the campaign will only encompass a month of the quarter, executives should remark on the initial effect of the campaign on the carbonated soda beverage volume in North America and Western Europe. Hopefully one month will represent enough time to move the needle on the carbonated soda volume closer to break even. Maybe it will get there by the third quarter or even reside in positive territory by that time.
Keurig Cold's progress
Hopefully executives will update investors on the progress of Keurig Green Mountain's (UNKNOWN:GMCR.DL) Cold device. We already know that Keurig Green Mountain is building a pod facility in Georgia and an early production facility in Vermont . Maybe executives can give some guidance on some initial products that will be included with the release of the first generation machine? Also, Coca-Cola could shed some light on a specific release date in 2015 for the device.
It would also be interesting to see how Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE:KDP) fits into Coca-Cola's relationship with Keurig Green Mountain. Dr Pepper Snapple Group already possesses an arrangement with Coca-Cola to dispense Dr Pepper brand products in Coca-Cola's fountains. Does this mean Dr Pepper will go along with Coca-Cola in creating pods for the Keurig Cold device?
An update on Coca-Cola life
Right now, Coca-Cola Life represents Coca-Cola's latest attempt in carbonated soda innovation. Coca-Cola hopes that its stevia sweetened drinks will serve as a draw for health conscious consumers. However, doubts about its status as a natural sweetener cast doubt on whether this can happen.
The company recently announced that it will expand distribution of the brand to the United Kingdom and the United States. Hopefully, Coca-Cola executives will update investors on its volume performance in Chile and Argentina where the product currently gets sold. In a more unlikely scenario, maybe Coca-Cola will introduce an innovative new line of carbonated sodas.
Continuation of still beverage gains
The still beverage portion of Coca-Cola's business will most likely continue its upward trajectory. While this represents great news and will most likely make up a greater part of Coca-Cola's business over time, competitors can more easily copy a bottle of water or juice than the secret recipe of Coca-Cola over the long-term . Coca-Cola executives should reveal to investors how it can come up with more still beverages that can't be so easily copied by competitors.
Analysts expect Coca-Cola's revenue and earnings to remain roughly even relative to the same time last year. With that said, Coca-Cola executives should stress the positive long-term effects of its initiatives on Coca-Cola's margins. For example, if successful, the Keurig Cold Device could help eliminate bottling costs for Coca-Cola over the long-term. It could also boost Dr Pepper Snapple Group's prospects if it gets involved with the Coca-Cola partnership as well. Hopefully, the next earnings call will answer all of these questions and more.