The earnings report for Coca-Cola (KO) was reported early Tuesday from Atlanta, and the news was sparkling and fizzy for investors, as the company reported revenues of $13.1 billion to beat estimates by $90 million, and earnings-per-share of $1.22 beat estimates by 3 cents (2.5 percent). The report sent KO shares up 0.7 percent prior to the open Tuesday, and the stock was up about 1.5 percent during Tuesday morning trading, to about $77.65 per share.
Revenue was up 3 percent over the same quarter of 2011, and global growth volume was reported up 4 percent year-over-year, led by strong growth in emerging markets like India (20 percent growth), Russia (9 percent) and China (7 percent). North America volume increased by 1 percent, but Europe fell percent in the report. While the quarterly EPS report was impressive, the year-to-date number of $2.11 per share is up 4 percent over the same period of 2011. The company also reported that its current productivity and reinvesment program is on track to generate annualized savings of $550 million to $650 million by 2015.
Sparkling beverage volume grew 2 percent in the quarter and still beverages grew 9 percent.
CEO Muhtar Kent said, “We are pleased with our second quarter and year-to-date results. We are delivering consistent quality performance in line with our 2020 Vision growth targets, despite a very challenging and increasingly unpredictable global economy. Notably, we continue to gain global volume and value share by giving our consumers what they are looking for – meaningful brand connections, wide-ranging product and package choices, greater information about our brands, and significant investments in programs that support healthy and active lifestyles, all at the heart of our brand values. As we complete the 10th quarter of our 2020 Vision, we remain passionately focused on offering a portfolio of brands that refresh and hydrate our consumers while bringing them simple moments of happiness. Together with our system bottling partners, our long-term growth plans remain on track and our commitment to enhance the well-being of the consumers, customers and communities we serve around the world is as strong as ever.”
For funds like Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway and Boykin Curry’s Eagle Capital Management, the KO report may be a good tonic. Berkshire owned $14.8 billion of KO stock at the end of March (nearly 20 percent of its portfolio), while Eagle Capital had $58 million invested at the end of Q1, though it had sold 6 percent of its position during the quarter, while Berkshire held steady.