Coke Fizzes on Q3 Figures

Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) on Wednesday reported fiscal third-quarter earnings and sales that topped analysts’ estimates, prompting the beverage giant to hike its annual outlook again.

CEO James Quincey said in prepared remarks that Coke is emerging from the pandemic as a stronger business. It’s seeing a recovery in its away-from-home channels, like restaurants and movie theaters, which had cratered this time last year.

Coke’s net income for the three-month period ended Oct. 1 grew to $2.5 billion, or 57 cents per share, compared with $1.7 billion, or 40 cents a share, a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, the company earned 65 cents per share, topping estimates for 58 cents.

Net sales rose 16% to $10.04 billion from $8.65 billion a year earlier. That beat expectations for $9.75 billion. Organic revenue, which excludes the impact of acquisitions, divestitures and foreign currency, climbed 14%. Unit case volume, which strips out the impact of currency and price changes, was up 6% and came in ahead of 2019 levels.

Coke’s sparkling soft drinks unit, which includes its namesake soda, saw volume increase by 6% in the quarter. The nutrition, juice, dairy and plant-based beverage business reported volume growth of 12%, in part thanks to strong sales of Minute Maid. The hydration, sports, coffee and tea segment saw volume growth of 6%. Coffee grew 19%, driven by the ongoing reopening of Costa cafes in the United Kingdom.

KO shares gained $1.22, or 2.2%, to $55.69.