Americans are apparently falling out of love with “the real thing”. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) announced its fourth quarter 2013 earnings today. The beverage giant reported numbers largely in line with analyst expectations, with profits dipping slightly and North American sales down 1%. Although growth is slowing down, sales in China and India helped compensate for the North American decline, pushing the company’s overall global sales volume up around 1%.
Coca-Cola’s 4Q numbers
For the quarter ending Dec. 31, 2013, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) earned $1.71 billion (38 cents per share). Taking out one-time items such as restructuring, the company earned 46 cents per share for the quarter. The diversified beverage titan earned $1.87 billion, or 41 cents per share, in 4Q 2012. Total revenue decreased to $11.04 billion in the quarter, slightly below the $11.31 billion analyst consensus.
North American sales slip
The 1% decline in North America sales included a 3 percent decline in soda, which offset improved performance by other beverages such as Powerade. Americans have been reducing their soda consumption for a number of years, both because of concerns about the sugar in soda or the artificial sweeteners in diet soda. The beverage market is also highly competitive today, with energy drinks and sparkling and flavored waters increasing in market share.
Green Mountain deal
Earlier this month, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) announced a major deal with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR). The 10-year deal between the two companies includes The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) purchasing a 10% minority stake in Green Mountain for around $1.25 billion. They beverage makers plan to collaborate on developing Coca-Cola’s products for use in Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NYSE:GMCR)’s new Keurig Cold beverage system. In a statement concerning the deal, Coca Cola management said taking a 10% stake in Green Mountain was part of an effort “to align long-term interests.”
Following today’s earnings report, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) shares are trading down $1.35, at $37.58 as of 11:25 am EST.