Coca-Cola beat analysts’ expectations on the top and bottom line on Friday, as it continues to use levers like pricing to counter shifts in consumer tastes away from its core beverages.
Here’s how the company did compared with what Wall Street expected:
- EPS: 39 cents vs. 38 cents expected according to Thomson Reuters
- Revenue: $7.51 billion vs. $7.37 billion expected according to Thomson Reuters
- Organic sales growth: 6 percent vs. 3.65 percent, according to Thomson Reuters
Coca-Cola’s net revenue declined 20 percent for the quarter, which it attributed to headwinds from its efforts to re-franchise its bottling operations. Organic sales, which excludes the impacts of foreign exchange and other changes, were up 6 percent for the quarter.
As with last quarter, total unit case volume, a metric that strips out the impact of foreign exchange and pricing, was even. The company offset its flat volume by raising prices and selling more of its expensive products.
Coca-Cola is coming off a strong fiscal third quarter in which it battled shrinking a market for its core products through new products and higher prices. This January, it continued its innovation push, launching four new flavors of Diet Coke.
Investors will be looking to see if innovation, product mix, and pricing alone can continue to drive the company’s sales growth, particularly in the U.S. where the retail landscape is tightening and Coca-Cola’s arch-rival PepsiCo continues to see soda sales decline.
On Thursday, Coca-Cola said it boosted its annual dividend by 5.4 percent to $1.56 a share from $1.48 a share in 2017. It also announced two new nominees to its board, Christopher Davis, chairman of Davis Advisors, and Caroline Tsay, CEO of Compute Software.