Coca-Cola (KO) Q3 2023 earnings

A Coca-Cola truck in New York City.

Alexi Rosenfeld | Getty Images

Coca-Cola on Tuesday reported quarterly earnings and revenue that topped analysts’ expectations as consumers shook off higher prices for its namesake soda, Simply juice and other drinks.

The company also hiked its full-year outlook.

Coca-Cola shares closed Tuesday up 2.88%.

Here’s what the company reported compared with what Wall Street was expecting, based on a survey of analysts by LSEG, formerly known as Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: 74 cents adjusted vs. 69 cents expected
  • Revenue: $11.91 billion adjusted vs. $11.44 billion expected

Coke reported third-quarter net income attributable to shareholders of $3.09 billion, or 71 cents per share, up from $2.83 billion, or 65 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding transactions gains, restructuring costs and other items, the beverage giant earned 74 cents per share.

Adjusted sales rose 8% to $11.91 billion. Organic revenue, which strips out the impact of acquisitions and divestitures, climbed 11%.

Like many companies, Coke has raised prices on its products over the last two years, citing rising commodity costs. But in July, the company said it was done hiking prices in the U.S. and Europe this year. This quarter, its prices were up 9% compared with the year-ago period.

Coke’s unit case volume, which unlike its net revenue excludes pricing and currency, grew 2% in the quarter despite its higher prices. While Coke has seen demand weaken somewhat, rival PepsiCo has had steeper declines in demand.

In North America, the company’s volume was flat, but shoppers bought more Coke Zero Sugar and Fairlife dairy drinks. For comparison, Pepsi reported that its North American beverage volume shrank 6% in its third quarter.

Coke’s away-from-home drinks business is growing faster than its at-home division, executives said. CEO James Quincey said that it’s easier for consumers to trade down to private-label options when shopping at grocery stores compared with dining out at restaurants, amusement parks or sports stadiums.

“That’s what is really driving the strength of the U.S. business overall and the revenue side. We see a kind of divergence of the consumer behavior at home and away from home,” Quincey said.

European consumers have been cutting back their spending more than U.S. shoppers, executives said. Sales in Europe were also hurt by this summer’s hot temperatures.

Coke’s sales in China also struggled. The country’s pandemic recovery has been uneven, despite the Chinese government rolling back its Zero Covid policy late last year. But Coke is looking to have a strong Lunar New Year in 2024, Quincey said.

All of Coke’s drink divisions reported volume growth. Both its sparkling soft drinks and juice, dairy and plant-based beverage divisions reported 2% increases in volume. Coke’s water, sports, coffee and tea business saw 1% volume growth.

For the full year, Coke now expects comparable earnings per share growth of 7% to 8%, up from its prior range of 5% to 6%. The company also adjusted its outlook for organic revenue, forecasting an increase of 10% to 11%, up from the prior range of 8% to 9%.

Looking ahead to 2024, Coke is projecting a mid single-digit headwind from currency. The company said it will share the rest of its 2024 outlook when it reports fourth-quarter earnings early next year.

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