Coca-Cola profit soars on North American growth

By @ibtimes on

Coca-Cola Co reported sharply higher quarterly earnings that met Wall Street estimates on Wednesday, helped by its third straight quarter of sales growth in North America.

The world's largest soft drink maker said net income was $5.77 billion, or $2.46 per share, in the fourth quarter, up from $1.54 billion, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings were 72 cents per share, meeting analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net revenue rose 40 percent to $10.5 billion, with 37 percent of the gain related to the company's October acquisition of its North American bottling operations.

Sales volume in North America rose 8 percent in the quarter, helped by new brands taken on after the bottler acquisition. Excluding such brands, organic volume rose 3 percent in the quarter, an acceleration from 2 percent gains in the third and second quarters.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn, Dave Zimmerman)

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