Coca-Cola Bets On Steady Demand, Higher Pricing To Lift Forecasts

By Reuters
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Coca-Cola Bets On Steady Demand, Higher Pricing To Lift Forecasts

Coca-Cola Co raised its annual sales and profit forecasts for a second time this year, riding on resilient demand from consumers for its sodas, juices and energy drinks as well as higher prices.

Coca-Cola's shares rose about 3% in premarket trading after it also topped expectations for third-quarter results.

Rival PepsiCo also beat analysts' expectations earlier this month as consumers continued to spend on sodas, dubbed 'affordable luxuries', at a time of elevated food prices and higher cost of living from sticky inflation.

Price Hikes

Coca-Cola's average selling prices rose 9% in the third quarter, the company said, while overall unit case volumes increased 2%.


"It does not appear that these levels of pricing are in a position to be competed away by another (or) being undercut by certain private label alternatives," said Sarah Henry, managing director and portfolio manager at Logan Capital Management.

Still, benefits from the increases are expected to moderate nearly two years after many consumer goods companies hiked product prices to shield themselves from rising labor and transportation costs.

Investor focus has largely shifted to efforts to grow volumes as cost of production eases while major firms including Procter & Gamble face pressure from countries like France to cut prices due to still strained purchasing power in many regions.

The average price of 192 ounces of Coca-Cola's soda in the US was $10.37 as of 9 September. It climbed to $9.25 in 2022 from $7.96 in 2021, according to NielsenIQ's data.


Outlook, Quarterly Performance

The beverage giant now expects organic revenue growth of 10% to 11% for the full year, compared with its prior forecast of an increase of 8% to 9%.

The company forecast annual core earnings per share to rise between 7% and 8%, compared with prior expectations of an increase of 5% to 6%.

Net revenue rose nearly 8% to $11.91 billion (€11.2 billion) in the third quarter, compared with analysts' estimates of $11.44 billion, according to LSEG data.

Adjusted earnings came in at 74 cents, compared with estimates of 69 cents per share.

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