The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) reported a 13 percent gain in its fiscal 2012 fourth quarter income, citing increased sales volume in North America. The beverage maker noted that the increased sales in North America were instrumental in cushioning against lower demand in Europe. Volume in the unstable European market dipped 5 percent during the quarter.
Net income for the quarter came in at $1.87 billion, an equivalent of 41 cents a share. This signaled a 13 percent gain from $1.6 billion, or 36 cents a share, a year earlier. Coca-Cola, which is also the world’s largest beverage maker, further noted that net income was 45 cents a share with the exclusion of restructuring costs and other incidental items.
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In an effort to enhance efficiency and tighten up on costs, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) also revealed that it would reorganize its Coca-Cola refreshments bottling unit. The beverage company, which currently bottles close to 80 percent of drink volume in the U.S, said that it would overhaul its bottling unit by reducing its regional territories from 7 to 3.
In light of the looming obesity crisis in the U.S, Coca-Cola made it clear that it had doubled its efforts to promote healthy living. Company Chief Executive, Muhtar Kent, is noted to have answered consumers’ demand for healthier products, particularly so with products like Honest Tea and Simply Orange.
To build on these products, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) also started airing pro-fitness adverts last month. The advertisements not only promote its products but they also highlight the importance of selective calorie intake and exercise.
Expect a relatively negative stock reaction: Morgan Stanley
In a report compiled and published by Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), investors have been told to expect a slight negative stock reaction. This outlook is based on the fact that the profit, despite being impressive, is mirrored by weak volume.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) further remarks that some of the issues shadowing The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) include concerns over volume growth in Europe and emerging markets. The research firm also expects increased commentary over the softness in China.