The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) released the earnings results from its first quarter this morning before opening bell. The company posted earnings per share of 44 cents—a 4% decline—on revenue of $10.58 billion. Analysts had been expecting earnings of 44 cents per share on revenues of $10.61 billion. Reported earnings were 36 cents per share, a decline of 6%. Comparable currency neutral earnings per share rose 5%.
Coca-Cola posts mixed numbers
According to this morning’s release, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s reported net revenues fell 4%. Excluding negative impacts from structural changes, comparable currency neutral net revenues rose 2%. The soda maker posted a 2% increase in global unit case volume. All of that growth was from Coca-Cola International.
The company’s operating income fell by 1%, although without the structural changes, it grew by 7%. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) also said it sped up investments behind its brands. The company reported that it gained both volume and value share in non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages. Coca-Cola also noted that this year’s first quarter results had one less selling day than last year’s first quarter. The fourth quarter will have one extra selling day.
Cash from operations was reported to be $1.1 billion. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) said it plans to spend $400 million this year in media initiatives so that it can speed up top-line growth.
Breaking down Coca-Cola’s results by region
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) reported a 2% volume increase in its Eurasia and Africa Group and maintained volume share in non-alcoholic ready-to-drink beverages. Sparkling beverage volume increased by 1% in the region, driven by a 9% increase in Russia that coincided with the 2014 Winter Olympics.
In Europe, the company’s volume fell 4%. It cited the shift of Easter into the second quarter and also impacts from their bottling partner maintaining “disciplined pricing” in the U.K. as it transitions to new packaging for the sparkling beverages. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) also reported that concentrate sales beat unit case sales because of the timing of shipments.
In Latin America, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) saw a 1% increase in volume growth as momentum in Brazil was renewed due to robust marketing around the FIFA World Cup and the Carnival holiday. Unit case sales in the region beat concentrate sales, again due to the timing of the shipments. Sparkling beverage volume declined 1% during the quarter because of Mexico’s new excise tax.
In North America, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)’s volume was even year over year, although it gained value share. Sparkling beverage volumes fell 1% but outperformed the rest of the industry. In the Asia Pacific region, Coca-Cola’s volume rose 7%, including 12% growth in China, 2% growth in Japan and 6% growth in India. Concentrate sales beat unit case sales during the quarter.