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The Coca-Cola Company Message Board

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  • kogoss kogoss Apr 30, 1998 9:27 AM Flag

    Buffet 1988 vs. 1998 fundamentals

    Even at these levels, I think KO is a hold at a minimum and a buy if you have surplus funds for the long term.

    KO is now into an international growth period that I believe will be extremely successful. First, private brands are a dying
    breed. Cott Corp finally acknowledged that they cannot sell their beverage business. There are no buyers willing to go against KO.
    Much more important, Pepsi is going through an international disaster---from South America to the recently acknowledged Soviet
    Union. Pepsi has to fight the US beverage wars, which means they do not have the management, time, or money to fight KO
    internationally. Ivester knows this and will take full advantage of it. Coca-Cola Beverages led by Isdell, the Amatil reorganization led by
    Kennedy, India finally getting their act together, and the expansion of anchor bottlers all point to an aggressive move by KO that
    will pay off in the intermediate term. Remember, Ivester views the problems in Asia as an opportunity to expand, as he should.

    So from a strategic view, I think you are wrong that 15% growth is the max. Ivester said in the annual statement that
    "exchange rates are not an indicator of our performance; volume growth is." I agree. For example, the currency impact in the first
    quarter was 10%. "Operating income, which rose 12 percent in the quarter, would have grown 22% without the currency impact." (CFO
    KO) When currencies start to resume their normal relationships, the earnings will come screaming back---even more so because of
    the volume increases.

    Even if your 1998 and 1999 estimates are correct (I think they are low, especially 1999), my 3 to 5 year look at KO is very optimistic because KO is definitely winning the beverage wars---and they have only 2% of the world liquid comsumption market so there is plenty of room for growth.

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