Shares of Coca-Cola Enterprises (NYSE:CCE) rallied nearly 1.00% on Friday, as the beverage bottling and distribution giant weighed in with earnings growth of 6.6%, and backed its fiscal 2011 forecast.
This is the second quarter the bottler has reported since the Coca-Cola Co. completed its acquisition of the North American bottling operations last October.
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The Atlanta-based business reaffirmed its forecast for fiscal 2011 adjusted earnings in the range of $1.95 to $2.00 a share, with revenue growth in the mid single-digit range. Wall Street had predicted adjusted earnings of $2.01 on revenue of $7.91 billion.
The company said Friday morning that it had posted a fourth-quarter profit of $97 million, or 28 cents a share, compared with year-ago profit of $91 million.
Net revenue rose 12% during the quarter to $1.79 billion, compared with year-ago revenue of $1.61 billion. Gross margin narrowed to 35.3%, from 36.6% in the year-ago quarter.
Analysts had predicted earnings of 28 cents a share on revenue of $1.77 billion.
"We are encouraged by these results, achieved despite ongoing soft macroeconomic conditions and challenging fourth-quarter weather," said John F. Brock, chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. "We remain focused on our key strategic objectives -- building brands, enhancing efficiency, and developing our people -- to achieve our goal of driving consistent, value growth.
Shares of Coca-Cola Enterprises rose 24 cents, or 0.92%, closing the day at $26.24 a share. The stock was inactive in after-hours trading.