A battle is bubbling over Coca-Cola.
The beverage giant taking harsh criticism from value fund Wintergreen Advisers, who sent letters to Coca-Cola shareholders, the Coca-Cola Board of Directors and Warren Buffett, detailing concerns with the company’s proposed 2014 Equity Plan.
In the letter, Wintergreen expresses “deep disappointment” in Coca-Cola’s compensation plan, and claims the plan to be an “unnecessarily large transfer of wealth from Coca-Cola’s shareholders to members if the company’s management team.”
The letter goes on to say, “We expect a greater show of leadership from one of the world's preeminent corporations. Coca-Cola should be the industry leader for best practices in corporate governance and pay practices; the 2014 Equity Plan clearly falls far short of this bar.”
Coca-Cola fired back today saying the statements from Wintergreen were “misinformed” and do not reflect the facts.
So, who’s right and who’s wrong? And what does it mean for the stock, which is down 7% on the year and one of the worst performers in the Dow in 2014.
(Watch: Cramer: Soda business horrendous)
Pat Dorsey of Sanibel Captiva Investment Advisers says the compensation doesn’t matter. “It’s high but, so is pretty much every CEO’s pay in America,” he says. “At 16-times earnings, over 3% yield and emerging markets consumption running at one-tenth the levels of U.S., I think there’s plenty of upside.”
JC O’Hara of FBN Securities calls the charts “intimidating.” He says, “I will warn you, if you breakdown [below the neckline at $37 per share] I will be very cautious on this name.
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