Coca-Cola Tops Estimates On Demand For Sugar-Free Sodas
Coca-Cola Co reported quarterly sales and profit that beat Wall Street estimates on Tuesday, as more consumers reached for its sugar-free sodas, premium waters, and sports drinks.
Coke, like rival PepsiCo Inc, has been building up its portfolio of non-carbonated drinks and stepping up efforts to reduce sugar in its beverages as consumers seek healthier options.
The company paid $5.1 billion (€4.5 billion) for the world's second-largest coffee chain Costa earlier this year and took a stake in Kobe Bryant-backed sports drink BodyArmor in a bid to court a younger demographic that prefers sipping lattes to gulping big sodas.
No More Sugar
Organic revenue, or sales from its core beverage business, rose 6% in the third quarter, with Diet Coke, Coke Zero and sparkling water the top contributors.
Volumes, a key indicator of demand, grew 2% in the quarter on the strong performance of its trademark Coca-Cola brand and growth in the low- and no-calorie offerings of Sprite and Fanta, the company said.
Sales of sodas grew 2%.
Net income attributable to the company's shareholders rose to $1.88 billion (€1.65 billion), or 44 cents per share, in the third quarter ended 28 September from $1.45 billion (€1.27 billion), or 33 cents per share, a year earlier.
Excluding one-time items, Coca-Cola said it earned 58 cents per share, beating analysts' average estimate by 3 cents.
Revenue fell 9% to $8.25 billion (€7.27 billion), due to the disposal of its low-margin bottling operations.
Analysts had estimated sales of $8.17 billion (€7.20 billion), according to Refinitiv estimates.
The company's shares were up 1.4% in premarket trading.