Sun | Mar 24, 2019

Outlook overshadows strong quarter at Coca-Cola

Published:Friday | February 15, 2019 | 12:18 AM

Coca-Cola posted solid quarterly profit and revenue numbers, but the strong dollar could slow sales in the coming year.

The headwinds overshadowed a respectable fourth quarter, and shares slid almost three per cent before the opening bell Thursday.

Coca-Cola Company reported net income of US$870 million, after a loss in the same period last year.

The company has been able to energise sales with new flavours and drinks as more people put off soft drinks.

Sales of tea and coffee rose three per cent in the quarter, driven by new product launches in Japan and China, while sales of water and sports drinks rose one per cent.

But sales of sparkling soft drinks fell one per cent. Sales of juice and plant-based drinks dropped two per cent, partly due to smaller package sizes in North America.

Per-share earnings for the Atlanta company were 20 cents, or 43 cents when adjusted for one-time costs and gains. That was in line with Wall Street’s forecast. Revenue of US$7.06 billion was also in line with analysts’ projections, according to a survey by Zacks Investment Research.

For 2019, the company said currency will be a significant headwind. It forecast full-year earnings per share should be between negative one per cent and positive one per cent, compared with 2018. The company earned US$2.08 per share for the full year in 2018, up nine per cent from the prior year.