Coca-Cola Enterprises Reiterates 2013 View

Zacks

Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc (CCE) recently re-affirmed its fiscal 2013 guidance at the Barclays Back-to-School Conference in Boston. Coca-Cola Enterprises, one of the largest bottlers of The Coca Cola Co. (KO), also named its new chief financial officer (:CFO).

Fiscal 2013 Outlook Retained

Coca-Cola Enterprises now expects its earnings per share at the higher end of the previously stated range of $2.45 to $2.50. The guidance includes a less than 1% positive impact of currency translation at current rates.

The company continues to expect net sales, on a constant currency basis, to grow at a low single-digit rate. Operating income is expected to grow in a low to mid-single-digit range in fiscal 2013.

In addition, at the Barclays conference, the company stated plans to repurchase at least $1 billion of its shares by the end of fiscal 2013, under its current $1.5 billion share repurchase program which began in Jan 2013. The company also reiterated its year-end net debt to EBITDA ratio expectation within its long-term range of 2½ to 3 times.

For fiscal 2013, Coca-Cola Enterprises expects free cash flow, including year-over-year increase in cash restructuring expenses, of approximately $500 million. Capital expenditure is expected in a range of $300 million to $325 million for fiscal 2013.

Cost of debt was reaffirmed at approximately 3%, while effective tax rate for 2013 is expected to be in a range of 26% - 28%.

New CFO

The bottling company also announced its new CFO at the conference. Manik ‘Nik’ Jhangiani will become the new CFO effective from Nov 1, 2013.  Jhangiani is currently the vice president of the European finance division of the company and has more than 25 years of experience in global finance and business leadership.

Jhangiani has worked with other multi-national organizations in the past, including Coca-Cola, Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co, Colgate Palmolive Co (CL), Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. (BMY) and Deloitte & Touche. Prior to joining CCE, Jhangiani was CFO of Bharti Enterprises, which is one of the largest Indian multi-national companies. Coca-Cola Enterprises carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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