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Coca-Cola Reports Q3 Results and Says No to Cannabis Plans

It was only a few weeks ago that beverage giant Coca Cola said it may be interested in getting into the marijuana industry but with the company’s latest earnings report, that idea is not becoming a reality.

During the company’s third quarter earnings call, CEO James Quincey said the company “doesn’t have any plans at this stage” to enter the CBD market. This was a response to Cowen & Co. analyst Vivien Azer asking about rumors that the company was looking at the CBD category.

For the three months ending in September, the company reported earnings of 58 cents a share. This was ahead of the 55 cents that analysts had expected. It was also 16% higher than the year ago quarter.

Group sales declined 9% to $8.2 billion but still beat the $8.16 billion that was expected. Organic sales jumped 6%, while volumes rose 2%, with the company citing “double-digit volume growth of Coca-Cola Zero Sugar across all groups.”

Net income also grew to$1.88 billion, or 44 cents a share, up from $1.45 billion, or 33 cents a share, during the same three months last year.

“We continue to be encouraged by our performance year-to-date as we accelerate our evolution as an even more consumer-centric, total beverage company,” said Quincey. “The recent leadership appointments are intended to help accelerate the transformation of our company.”

He had told analysts, “We had a solid quarter we’re on track to close out the year for our guidance.” The company reiterated its previous forecast for growing organic revenue of at least 4 percent for the full year.

Quincey also said on the call, “We’ve had another solid quarter that has included a number of notable developments, from M&A to changes in our leadership team. And I’ll come to all of that shortly, but let me start by focusing on our quarter and our year to-date performance.”

He added, “We are gaining share in a growing industry. Industry growth has improved from last year, driven by better results across both developed and emerging markets. Some large emerging markets like China, India and Brazil, are clearly doing better. Others like Argentina, South Africa and the Middle East, are not doing so well. But collectively, we are seeing solid results.”

“We’ve been capturing more than our fair share of growth as we’ve continued to execute on our transformation as a total beverage company. And notably, the industry has seen better performance within the global sparkling soft drink category, delivering both volume and value growth year-to-date.”

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