Coca-Cola 1Q results top Street, strong dollar hits sales

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

ATLANTA (AP) — Coca-Cola's profit slipped in the first quarter as the world's biggest beverage maker was squeezed by a strong dollar and booked charges related to the transformation of its North American operations.

The maker of Sprite, Fanta and Dasani said global beverage volume rose 2 percent in the period. Soda volume was flat, while non-carbonated drinks rose 7 percent.

As Coca-Cola faces challenges overseas at home, the company has focused on slashing costs and transforming its business. In North America, for instance, the company is refranchising territories back to bottlers. It is also trying to revamp its packaging and marketing to better reflect changing habits and fend off competitors.

For the three months ended April 1, Coca-Cola earned $1.48 billion, or 34 cents per share. That's compared with $1.56 billion, or 35 cents per share, a year earlier.

Stripping out charges tied to refranchising certain North American territories and other costs, Coke said it earned 45 cents per share. That's a penny more than analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Net operating revenue fell to $10.28 billion from $10.71 billion, but still topped the $10.26 billion Zacks' analysts predicted.

Shares of Coca-Cola Inc. edged down 1.7 percent lower to $45.81 in premarket trading on Wednesday.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on KO at http://www.zacks.com/ap/KO

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Keywords: Coca-Cola, Earnings Report, Priority Earnings