Coca-Cola’s Q1 Sales Go Flat

The world’s favorite soft drink maker if feeling a pinch on its sales, according to the quarterly results released by Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) on Tuesday. Net income was down to $1.75 billion for the period, from $2.05 billion during the same quarter last year. That works out to earnings per share of $0.39, down from $0.45, respectively. On a non-GAAP basis, the comparable earnings per share fell in at $0.46, beating analyst estimates of $0.45.

Revenue slipped 1 percent, landing at $11.04 billion.

Coca-Cola, in addition to its namesake beverage, owns a plethora (or a significant stake) of other soft drink brands, including Sprite, Fanta, Galceau (Vitamin Water, Smart Water), Honest Tea, Minute Maid, and many others. It is the world’s largest producer of soft drinks.

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The company also entered into a bottling agreement with five U.S.-based independent bottlers, although financial details were not revealed. Coca-Cola plans to sell some of its territory to the bottlers, speculatively to free up resources and streamline its supply chain.

The announcement comes nearly a month following the company’s decision to layoff 750 employees, about 1 percent of Coca-Cola’s workforce in the U.S. which is made up of roughly 75,000 workers. About a quarter of the layoffs were centered at the company’s home turf of Atlanta.

Though the company did not release its reasoning for the drop in revenue as of Tuesday morning, one could wonder if the slump in sales is attributed to the steadily growing healthier eating movement, championed by America’s first lady Michelle Obama. This is nothing new for Coca-Cola, which has been diversifying its offerings to keep up its market share so it does not rely so much on sugary sodas for growth.

Despite sales falling short, Coca-Cola’s stock was up in pre-market this morning, almost 3.7 percent to $41.57, likely spurred by the company’s comparable earnings per share results.

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