Earnings Preview: Coca-Cola

Zacks

The Coca-Cola Company (KO) is set to report its first-quarter 2013 results on Apr 16 before the market opens. Last quarter, it posted a 2.3% positive surprise. Let’s see how things are shaping up for this announcement.

Growth Factors this Past Quarter

Earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimates in the fourth quarter by a penny. It grew 15% from the prior-year quarter as tepid revenue growth was offset by solid operating margins, which gained from two extra selling days and lower-than-expected currency headwinds. Revenues increased 4% in the quarter as benefits from volume growth was offset by an almost flat price/mix.

Volumes improved 3% in the quarter as volume growth in North America, Eurasia and Africa, and Latin America offset the weakness in Europe, China and Japan. The still beverages did better than the carbonated beverages. Changing consumer preferences, increasing health consciousness, rising obesity concerns, possible new taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages and growing regulatory pressures are affecting sparkling beverage sales for Coca-Cola as well as its peers, such as PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP).

Earnings Whisper

Our proven model does not conclusively show that Coca-Cola is likely to beat earnings this quarter. That is because a stock needs to have both a positive Earnings ESP (Read: Zacks Earnings ESP: A Better Method) and a Zacks Rank of #1, 2 or 3 for this to happen. That is not the case here, as you will see below.

Zacks ESP:  The Earnings ESP is 0.00%.

Zacks Rank #4 (Sell): KO carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We caution against stocks with Zacks #4 and #5 Ranks (Sell rated stocks) going into the earnings announcement, especially when the company is seeing negative estimate revisions momentum.

Other Stocks to Consider

Here are some other companies you may want to consider, as our model shows they have the right combination of elements to post an earnings beat this quarter:  

Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP), with Earnings ESP of +2.86% and a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)

Mondelez International, Inc. (MDLZ), with an Earnings ESP of +2.94% and a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold)

Read the Full Research Report on KO

Read the Full Research Report on PEP

Read the Full Research Report on TAP

Read the Full Research Report on MDLZ

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