Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) released first-quarter earnings on Tuesday, and although profits and revenue declined from the same period last year, volume increased due to growth in non-soda beverage consumption, as well as sales in emerging markets. Those numbers surpassed Wall Street’s expectations, and the market responded favorably, as stock prices jumped nearly 4 percent by mid-afternoon.
Atlanta-based Coca-Cola reported a $1.62 billion profit (36 cents per share) in this year’s first quarter, down from $1.75 billion (39 cents per share) in the year-ago period. The beverage giant’s revenue dropped 4 percent to $10.58 billion (44 cents per share), excluding special items. Revenue numbers beat predictions set by analysts, who expected the figure to be $10.55 billion.
While volume in North America remained even, Coke’s global unit case volume rose 2 percent. The increase was mainly seen in Coke’s non-soda beverages, which include Honest Tea, Dasani, and Minute Maid brands, while overall soda volume decreased for the first time in more than a decade. Coca-Cola returned $713 million to investors through share repurchases and expects to buy back up to $3 billion through 2014.