Coca-Cola continues its rapid expansion in emerging markets such as India and China.
Coca-Cola Co.’s fourth-quarter earnings fell sharply but the soft-drink maker’s underlying profits exceeded analysts’ expectations.
Coca-Cola reported net income of $1.65 billion, or 72 cents per diluted shares, less than half of the $5.77 billion, or $2.46 per share, reported in the same quarter last year.
The year-ago quarter included a one-time gain of $5.29 billion related to an acquisition.
Excluding the gain, along with other one-time items in the latest quarter, Chief Financial Officer Gary Fayard said during a conference call that adjusted fourth quarter earnings were 79 cents per share compared with 72 cents in the same quarter last year.
The adjusted earnings per share figure topped 77 cents, which was the average estimate of analysts surveyed by Yahoo Finance.
Revenues climbed 5 percent to $11.04 billion from $10.49 billion. That was largely attributable to achieving “meaningful growth” in emerging markets such as India and China, according to Tom Mullarkey, equity analyst at Morningstar Inc.
“These results were lead by China up double digits in the quarter,” said Coca-Cola CEO Muhtar Kent. “This makes nine of out the last 10 years that our business in China has delivered double-digit growth,” he added.
Coca-Cola’s 2011 annual income fell 27 percent to $8.57 billion, or $3.69 per diluted share, from $11.81 billion or $5.06 per share, in 2010. Revenue rose 33 percent to $46.54 billion from $35.12 billion.
The soft-drink maker said it will continue with its “2020 Vision” to save the company an estimated $550 million to $650 million by the end of 2015 by promoting efficiency to battle the rising costs of commodities.
Coca-Cola shares closed at $68.55 Tuesday, up 52 cents or less than 1 percent.