Coca-Cola's Stock Slips After Profit Matches Expectations But Outlook Is Below Forecasts

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Shares of Coca-Cola Co. slipped 0.5% in premarket trade Thursday, after the beverage giant matched profit expectations, but provided a downbeat outlook for this year. Net earnings for the quarter to Dec. 31 fell to $550 million, or 13 cents a share, from $1.24 billion, or 28 cents a share, in the same period a year ago. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share came to 37 cents, matching the FactSet consensus. Revenue fell 6% to $9.4 billion from $10.0 billion, but beat the FactSet consensus of $9.1 billion. Total unit case volume declines 1% for the quarter, as growth in developed markets was offset by continued challenges in Latin America. For 2017, Coke expects adjusted EPS to decline 1% to 4% from $1.91 in 2016, while the FactSet consensus is for an increase to $1.95. The stock has lost 3% over the past 12 months through Wednesday, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average has climbed 25%.

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