Coca-Cola Upgraded To Buy Despite Health Pressures

By Jennifer BootonMarketWatch Pulse

Coca-Cola Co. was upgraded to buy from neutral at UBS on the premise the stock will "break out" over the next 12 months. Analyst Stephen Powers also raised his 12-month price target on the stock to $48 from $44 and raised his earnings per share outlook modestly on rising expectations around prices and productivity. Shares of Coca-Cola traded up 0.5% to $40.84 in premarket trade. They are down 3.7% year-to-date, underperforming the broader S&P 500, up 2%. In a note to clients Tuesday morning, Powers said he is "fairly bullish" on Coca-Cola's long-term international trends and its overall beverage portfolio strategy despite near-term macro headwinds and continued health and wellness pressures.

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