3 Earnings Releases You Must Know Now

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) released its earnings report for the fiscal third quarter Tuesday and disappointed investors by falling short of revenue expectations.

Quarterly revenue rose 1 percent to $12.34 billion, but analysts had been expecting $12.41 billion. The world’s largest soft drink maker, which does the majority of its business outside of the U.S., says that a stronger U.S. dollar and a consumer preference for lower-priced drinks in the Europe and Asia markets are to blame for the revenue shortcomings.

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Because so much of its sales are generated overseas, shifts in currency values can have uncontrollable effects on Coca-Cola’s bottom line. Currency factors trimmed 5 percentage points of growth from net revenue in the third quarter.

However, the quarter wasn’t all bad for Coca-Cola. Net income came in at $2.31 billion, or 50 cents per share, which is up from last year’s third-quarter net income of $2.22 billion, or 48 cents per share. Both revenue and profit rose in the North American market, while worldwide sales volume rose 4 percent.

Still, the problems ultimately came from Europe and the Pacific, where revenue dropped 8 percent and 4 percent, respectively, due to a higher percentage of sales of lower-priced beverages.

UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH), on the other hand, shared its third-quarter earnings to a much happier tune. The healthcare plan provider saw its net income leap 23 percent as a result of strong enrollment gains.

For the third quarter that ended September 30, UnitedHealth smashed analysts’ expectations and earned $1.56 billion, or $1.50 per share. Compare that number to the $1.34 per share analysts had originally forecast and the $1.27 billion, or $1.17 per share, that the company reported for the same quarter one year ago.

While revenue did rise 8 percent to $27.3 billion, that figure actually fell short of the analysts’ $27.58 billion expectation, according to FactSet.

In light of the strong quarter, UnitedHealth adjusted its expected earnings for the fiscal 2012 years to $5.20 to $5.25 per share. It had initially expected per-share earnings of $4.90 to $5.00 per share.

Finally, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) announced strong third-quarter earnings and revenue that also beat analysts’ expected marks.

Revenue for the quarter soared to $8.35 billion from $3.59 billion just a year ago. Excluding items, per-share earnings came in at $2.85, compared to the estimated $2.12 per share.

“This quarter’s performance was generally solid in the context of a still challenging economic environment,” CEO Lloyd C. Blankfein said.

Goldman also bumped its dividend up 8.7 percent to 50 cents per share from 46 cents per share.

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