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VOL. 39 | NO. 16 | Friday, April 17, 2015

Coke profit tops Wall St. expectations as it sells more soda

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NEW YORK (AP) — Coca-Cola reported a quarterly profit Wednesday that beat Wall Street expectations as the world's largest beverage maker worked on trimming costs and sold more drinks.

The maker of Sprite, Dasani, Powerade and other drinks said its global volume rose 1 percent, reflecting gains in both soda and non-carbonated drinks.

In its flagship North America market, overall volume was flat. The company sold 1 percent less soda, reflecting the ongoing move away from traditional carbonated drinks. One recent drag on soda has been the fading popularity of Diet Coke, which declined 6 percent globally for the quarter. The company did not say how much Diet Coke fell in North America.

The overall soda decline in North America was offset by a 2 percent increase in noncarbonated drinks, such as bottled teas.

Coca-Cola Co. says it is focusing less on volume growth and instead focusing on driving up revenue by mixing up the type of packages it sells. For instance, the Atlanta-based company has been pushing its mini-cans and glass bottles more aggressively, which tend to fetch higher prices per ounce.

The company has also said it would work on slashing costs to improve its financial performance amid slowing growth.

For the three months ended April 3, Coke said it earned $1.56 billion, or 35 cents per share. Not including one-time items, it earned 48 cents per share. That was more than the 43 cents per share analysts expected, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Total revenue was $10.71 billion, which also came in above the $10.66 billion analysts expected.

Shares of Coke rose 3 percent to $42.10.

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