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Coca-Cola’s Earnings Exceed Expectations

Challenged by shifting consumer tastes away from soda, the iconic Coca-Cola Company managed to deliver earnings in the second quarter that exceeded what Wall Street was expecting.

Adjusted earnings per share of $0.59 were a penny higher than expectations and revenue of $9.7 billion was about $50 million higher than the consensus forecast. Shares of Coca-Cola are 1.5% higher in pre-market trading.

Reported revenues declined by 17% versus the prior year, but that was largely due to the company’s efforts to franchise bottlers that were contributing to the revenue total in last years results as well as the effects of a stronger US dollar. Excluding those factors, organic revenue rose by 4%. Comparable earnings per share were 1% higher than the previous year.

Latin America was the worst region for the company, with volume declining by 2% due to ongoing macro challenges in both Brazil and Venezuela. European volume was strongest for the company, with unit case volume there rising by 3%.

This quarter marked the first for new CEO James Quincey after Muhtar Kent retired earlier this year.

“Our performance gives us confidence that we will achieve our full-year financial objectives even in the face of challenging conditions, and also demonstrates further success in evolving our portfolio to meet changing consumer tastes and preferences,” Quincey said in the earnings statement.

As of Tuesday’s close, shares of Coca-Cola are up less than 1 percent over the past 12 months, but the stock has risen about 9 percent for the year.

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