Coca-Cola to fuel Core Power with dairy company stake

ATLANTA, Tue Dec 4, 2012 — Coca-Cola Co. is taking an equity stake in the maker of the Core Power protein drink, the world’s largest soft drink company said on Tuesday, as it increases its bet on milk-based beverages.

Coca-Cola said it and Select Milk Producers Inc., a cooperative of dairy farmers, were taking equal stakes in the Core Power maker, which will now be known as Fair Oaks Farms Brands LLC.

Coca-Cola spokeswoman Kerry Tressler would not say how big the stakes are, but said the investment could increase over time.

The company said it wanted to create “an innovative portfolio of brands and products that feature the value-added nutrition of dairy.”

Coke started distributing Core Power in select markets earlier this year. Made from milk, Core Power is marketed as a high-protein muscle recovery drink meant to be consumed after a workout.

Coke shares were unchanged at $37.38 on the New York Stock Exchange.

PepsiCo, Coke Enterprises beat Wall Street forecasts

NEW YORK, Thu Apr 26, 2012 – PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Enterprises reported higher-than-expected quarterly profits and stood by their full-year forecasts, helped by price increases on sodas.

Like most food and beverage companies, PepsiCo and Coke Enterprises raised prices to offset higher commodity costs. But those price increases can often hurt sales volume.

PepsiCo said net income was $1.13 billion, or 71 cents per share, in the first quarter, down from $1.14 billion, or 71 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings were 69 cents per share, in line with management’s expectations, but 2 cents ahead of analysts’ estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net revenue rose 4 percent to $12.43 billion, driven by price increases. Currency exchange rates reduced revenue growth by 1 percentage point.

Volume rose 2 percent in the company’s Americas Foods unit as strength in Latin America offset declines at the North American units of Frito-Lay and Quaker Foods. The Americas Beverages unit’s volume fell 1 percent.

The company stood by its 2012 outlook, which calls for earnings to fall 5 percent from the $4.40 per share reported for 2011. PepsiCo expects net revenue growth in the low single-digit percentage range for this year.

For PepsiCo, 2012 is a transition year as it ramps up marketing, cuts thousands of jobs and streamlines its portfolio in a bid to improve performance, especially in its North American drink business.

The company has lagged Coca-Cola Co as even its flagship Pepsi-Cola has fallen to No. 3 among soft drinks in the United States, behind Coca-Cola and Diet Coke.

Also on Thursday, Coke Enterprises reported first-quarter earnings of 36 cents per share, topping the analysts’ average estimate of 33 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.The company, which bottles Coca-Cola Co drinks in Europe, also affirmed its full-year forecast for earnings per share to rise about 10 percent.

Coca-Cola directors recommend two-for-one stock split

ATLANTA, Wed Apr 25, 2012 – Coca-Cola Co’s. board of directors recommended a two-for-one stock split on Wednesday, the first split in 16 years.

The split reflects the board’s confidence in the long-term growth and financial performance of the company, according to CEO Muhtar Kent.

“A stock split reflects our desire to share value with an ever-growing number of people and organizations around the world,” Kent said in a statement.

The split, which would double the number of outstanding shares to 11.2 billion, is subject to approval by shareholders. They will vote on it at a special meeting planned for July 10.

If approved, the new shares would be distributed on or around August 10, Coke said.

This would be the 11th split in the stock’s 92-year history. One share of stock purchased for $40 in 1919 would be worth about $9.8 million today, with all dividends reinvested annually, the company said.

In early New York Stock Exchange trading, Coca-Cola shares rose 0.5 percent to $74.49.

Coca-Cola profit beats as volume grows; sales strong in India, China

ATLANTA, Tue Apr 17, 2012 – Coca-Cola Co. reported higher-than-expected quarterly results on Tuesday after the world’s largest soft drink maker raised some prices and sold more beverages.

The maker of Sprite, Minute Maid orange juice and vitaminwater also said it was on track with a productivity program aiming to save $550 million to $650 million a year by the end of 2015.

Coke shares rose 1 percent to $73.18 per share in premarket trading.

Soft drink sales have been strong in developing markets such as India and China with increasing numbers of middle class consumers. But growth has been harder to come by in the mature markets of Western Europe and North America, where growing health consciousness and struggling economies have curbed demand.

Still, Coke said quarterly volume rose 2 percent in North America and 1 percent in Europe. Volume also rose 5 percent in Latin America, 9 percent in Eurasia and Africa and 8 percent in the Pacific region. Overall, volume rose 5 percent.

First-quarter net profit was $2.05 billion, or 89 cents per share, up from $1.90 billion, or 82 cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $11.14 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 87 cents per share on revenue of $10.82 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

In the key North American market, revenue rose 5 percent, helped by a 3 percentage point increase in price and mix of products and the acquisition of a small bottler. Profit in the segment declined though, due to higher commodity costs and one less selling day.

Coca-Cola beats Wall Street forecasts, eyes cost savings

NEW YORK – Coca-Cola Co. reported better-than-expected quarterly results and announced a new cost-savings program on Tuesday, helping to send shares in the world’s top soft-drink maker up 1.3 percent in premarket trading.

Coke’s beverage business has been outperforming that of rival PepsiCo Inc. in recent months in North America, where a weak economy and growing health consciousness had curbed demand for sugary soft drinks. At the same time, the company has a much greater international footprint than Pepsi, which has helped its overall results.

Coke said global revenue rose 5 percent in the fourth quarter to $11.04 billion as it gained market share in several drink categories. Analysts on average were expecting $10.99 billion.

Worldwide volume rose 3 percent, growing 4 percent in Latin America and Eurasia and Africa, 5 percent in the Pacific and 1 percent in Europe and North America.

Quarterly net income was $1.65 billion, or 72 cents per share, down from $5.77 billion, or $2.46 per share, a year earlier, when the company recorded a gain related to the acquisition of its North American bottling operations.

Coke to buy Great Plains independent bottler for $360 million

ATLANTA, Ga. ― Coca-Cola Co. agreed to buy Great Plains Coca-Cola Bottling Co, an independent U.S. bottler, for $360 million, the companies said on Thursday, as the world’s largest soft drink maker aims to improve its home market.

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year, the companies said.

Great Plains is the fifth-largest independent Coke bottler in the United States, with territories in Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Coca-Cola acquired the majority of its North American bottling operations last year as it aims to turn around performance in the mature North American market.

Coca-Cola third quarter profit beats Wall Street forecast by a penny

ATLANTA ― Coca-Cola Co. reported a quarterly profit on Tuesday that slightly beat Wall Street estimates, as sales increased worldwide.

The world’s largest soft-drink maker, whose brands range from Sprite to Minute Maid and Powerade, said net income was $2.22 billion, or 95 cents per share in the third quarter, up from $2.06 billion, or 88 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings were $1.03 per share. On that basis, analysts on average were expecting $1.02 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Revenue jumped 45 percent to $12.25 billion, boosted by last year’s acquisition of its North American bottling operations, price increases and a 5 percentage-point currency benefit. Analysts expected revenue of $12.01 billion.

Worldwide volume rose 5 percent. Volume in North America also rose 5 percent, helped by the addition of new cross-licensed brands such as Dr Pepper. Excluding those brands, North American volume rose 1 percent.

Volume increased 7 percent in Latin America, 2 percent in Europe, 7 percent in the Eurasia and Africa segment and 6 percent in the Pacific region.

Coca-Cola shares fell 20 cents to $66.80 in premarket trading.