Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE:KO) beat Wall Street’s first-quarter expectations Wednesday as the world's largest producer of soft drink syrups and juice products reported better-than-expected profit and revenue in the three months ended Arpil 3. Global sales inched up 1 percent in the first three months of what the company has said will be a transitional year involving $3 billion in cost-cutting measures.
“Though we are still in the early stages, we see some initial positive indicators that we have the right strategies in place to accelerate growth,” Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent said in a statement. “However, we continue to view 2015 as a transition year as the benefits from the announced initiatives will take time to fully materialize amidst an uncertain and volatile macroeconomic environment.”
For the period ending April 3, Coca-Cola posted net income of $1.56 billion, or 35 cents a share, down from $1.62 billion, or 36 cents a share in the first three months of last year. Revenue increased 1.3 percent to $10.71 billion.
The company topped Wall Street's revenue estimates, but missed on analyst expectations for profit adjusted for one-time items. Adjusted earnings per share declined by a penny to 35 cents.
The maker of Minute Maid juices and Sprite soda raised prices in the U.S. last year to offset losses in revenue from sales in foreign currencies, which fell against the dollar.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the Atlanta company to report an adjusted 0.5 percent rise in revenue from the same quarter last year, from $10.58 billion to $10.63 billion. Adjusted net profit was expected to increase from $1.62 billion, or 36 cents per share, to $1.87 billion. However, that metric was $1.56 billion, or 35 cents per share.
For all of 2014, Coca-Cola revenue dropped 2 percent to $46 billion, while profit dropped 17 percent to $7.01 billion.
Coca-Cola shares were up 2.53 percent to $40.78 in premarket trading.