Dallas, Texas 04/25/2014 (FINANCIALSTRENDS) – Global beverage giant The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) reported its first-quarter 2014 results yesterday. It announced earnings per share of $0.46, which was 4.5 percent above its 1Q13, reported earnings. Adjusted earnings came in at $194 million for the quarter. These earnings gain was driven by a slight 1 percent growth in sales in the quarter to end at $1.87 billion. This was offset by a 2.5 percent dip in revenue caused by volume decrease of 1.5 percent. The key markets in which volumes saw an appreciable decline was U.K.
In U.K the 9 percent volume dip was driven by a change in company strategy to offer packaging in 1.75 litre bottles as against the 2 litre bottles it used to ship previously and unusually long wet weather conditions which led to drop in demand. These volume decreases were offset by a slight 1 percent increase in the average pricing. Over the entire beverage major spent nearly $1.2 billion towards expenses related to sales in the reporting period.
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) also disclosed that its stand alone subsidiary Coca-Cola Enterprises which operates bottling operations in Western Europe has initiated a share buyback program worth $1 billion spread over next few quarters, and hopes to mop up shares worth $800 million by end of this calendar year.
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) also reiterated its guidance for 2014. It hopes to grow its earnings for the year by 10 percent and is expecting net sales to go up in the “low single-digit range”, while its operating income is expected to go up in the “mid single-digit range”.
Expressing confidence in meeting full year estimates, The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) Chairman, Chief Executive Officer John Franklin Brock who also serves as the Member of Executive Committee and Member of Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Committee has been quoted to have said that, “We affirmed our full year 2014 outlook for earnings per share, net sales and operating income. Though our first quarter’s volume performance represents a slower-than-expected start to the year, we continue to believe that our operating strategies and marketplace initiatives will enable us to reach our full year financial goals”.