Coca-Cola's quarterly results
Coca-Cola shares rose as the company managed to beat analysts' expectations for first-quarter earnings and revenue thanks to a strong sales recovery in Asia. The company is forecasting growth for the second quarter and for 2021 as a whole.
Coca-Cola (KO) shares, down 2% since the start of the year, were up 1% in early trading on Monday after the company reported its financial results. Coca-Cola reported Q1 earnings per share of $0.55, up $0.05 from analysts' estimate of $0.50. Earnings for the quarter fell to $2.25bn, down from $2.78bn a year earlier.
Revenue rose 5% to $9bn, also above the average analyst estimate of $8.7bn.
Most of Coca-Cola's sales growth came from Asia-Pacific, the company cited primarily sales in China and India. This helped offset sales declines in major markets such as the US and Western Europe.
While carbonated, juice, dairy and plant-based drinks and snacks sales were up, sports drinks, coffee and tea brands were down 11%.
For the second quarter this year, Coca-Cola expects revenues to grow by about 3-4% and earnings per share by 5-6%. For the full year 2021, the company expects revenues to grow between 1% and 2% and earnings per share between 2% and 3%. Wall Street's forecast for Coca-Cola's second quarter 2021 is for strong earnings per share growth to $0.56 and revenues of $9.2 billion, with annual revenues expected to reach $36.8 billion.
Coca-Cola shares have risen almost 14% in the past 12 months.
Coca-Cola also announced on Monday that it plans to sell part of its stake in South and East Africa bottler Coca-Cola Beverages Africa (CCBA) in the next 18 months through its IPO (initial public offering) on the Amsterdam and Johannesburg stock exchanges.
The Coca-Cola report shows that sales of consumer products companies are returning to pre-pandemic levels as the incidence of COVID-19 declines and authorities lift strict quarantine measures.