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THE COCA-COLA COMPANY REPORTS 21 PERCENT JUMP IN FIRST QUARTER EARNINGS PER SHARE

 ATLANTA, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) reported today that first quarter earnings per share advanced 21 percent from $0.29 to $0.35. The strong earnings growth comes on top of a 21 percent gain in the first quarter of the prior year and is free of any nonrecurring items. The Company also reported that unit case volume internationally increased 5 percent, exceeding the Company's previous estimate of 4 percent due to stronger than anticipated growth in March.
 "Our first quarter results demonstrated once again, the exceptional ability of our global soft drink business to deliver outstanding performance in a difficult worldwide economic environment," said Roberto C. Goizueta, chairman of the Board and chief executive officer. "We achieved record earnings levels to date in 1993, despite the high hurdle rate established by last year's superb first quarter earnings," Mr. Goizueta continued. "This, coupled with our widening global market share leadership, supports our very bullish outlook for continued strong performance in the remainder of the year."
 Worldwide gallon shipments of soft drink concentrates and syrups increased 6 percent in the first quarter, continuing the improving trend that started in the fourth quarter of 1992. International concentrate shipments advanced 7 percent and United States shipments increased 3 percent in the first quarter. Worldwide unit case volume grew 4 percent in the first quarter, with international and United States unit case volume increasing 5 percent and 3 percent, respectively. The solid unit volume gain in the United States came despite the loss of several selling days in numerous outlets in early March as a result of the late winter storm.
 Operating income in the first quarter jumped 18 percent, fueled by volume growth and margin expansion. Foreign currency translation had little impact on first quarter results.
 International unit case volume increased in each major region, led by a 20 percent increase in the Northeast Europe/Middle East group, which came on top of 17 percent growth in the prior year. This group continues to benefit from rapid expansion into nascent soft drink markets. Unit case volume in the Nordic and Northern Eurasia Division, thents of concentrates and syrups increased 17 percent in the first quarter in the Northeast Europe/Middle East group.
 Unit case volume in the newly created Africa group increased 2 percent in the quarter impacted by a difficult comparison to a 12 percent gain in the prior year. Unit volume in the Africa group was led by an 8 percent increase in Nigeria as a result of increased product availability and promotions. Gallon shipments in the Africa group for the quarter were even with the prior year.
 In Latin America, unit case volume grew 4 percent led by an 11 percent gain in Argentina and 9 percent growth in Mexico, partially offset by a 2 percent decline in Brazil. The decrease in Brazil was the smallest in the last six quarters, continuing the improving trend started in the fourth quarter. Importantly, for the month of March, unit case volume in Brazil grew 11 percent. Gallon shipments in Latin America increased 8 percent in the first quarter.
 Unit case volume in the Pacific region grew 2 percent in the first quarter as a 21 percent increase in Australia and a 5 percent gain in Thailand were offset by declines of 4 percent and 9 percent in Japan and the Philippines,
respectively. These declines were impacted by comparisons to very strong volume gains in the prior year, particularly in Japan, the region's largest market. Unit case volume increased 12 percent in Japan in the first quarter of the prior year, as retailers accelerated purchases in advance of a price increase. Gallon shipments of concentrates and syrups in the Pacific region increased 4 percent in the first quarter.
 In the European Community, unit case volume increased 5 percent, driven by increases in France, Great Britain, Spain and Germany of 14 percent, 11 percent, 5 percent and 2 percent, respectively. Unit case volume in Italy declined 4 percent due to economic instability. Gallon shipments in the European Community grew 6 percent in the first quarter.
 At Coca-Cola Foods, increased marketing and aggressive pricing resulted in a 39 percent overall unit volume increase in the first quarter. Operating income grew at an even faster rate than volume due to improved gross margins. Volume growth accelerated across all major product lines as the Division widened its lead in the orange juice category. During the quarter, the Division achieved national availability for Minute Maid Juices-To-Go, in single-serve cans and glass bottles distributed by Coca-Cola bottlers.
 The Company purchased approximately 2.5 million shares of its common stock in the first quarter, including approximately 1 million shares in early January to complete a prior program to acquire 80 million shares. In the first eight days of the second quarter, the Company purchased approximately 1 million additional shares, capitalizing on a unique opportunity to acquire shares at depressed price levels. The Company is still in the early stages of a program to acquire up to 100 million shares through the year 2000.
 As previously disclosed, the Company adopted SFAS 106 in the first quarter of 1992, resulting in a catch-up adjustment of $0.16 per share. Including the adjustment, earnings per share was $0.13 in the first quarter of 1992.
 THE COCA-COLA COMPANY AND SUBSIDIARIES
 (In millions, except per share data)
 First Quarter 1993 1992 Pct. chg.
 Net operating revenues $3,056 $2,772 10
 Cost of goods sold 1,093 1,032 6
 Gross profit 1,963 1,740 13
 Selling, administrative and
 general expenses 1,286 1,166 10
 Operating income 677 574 18
 Interest income 35 40 (13)
 Interest expense 46 42 10
 Equity income 29 8 ---
 Other deductions - net 39 17 ---
 Income before income taxes and
 change in accounting principle 656 563 17
 Income taxes 202 177 14
 Income before change in
 accounting principle 454 386 18
 Catch-up adjustment for change in accounting
 for postretirement benefits other than pensions
 Consolidated operations --- (146) ---
 Equity investments --- (73) ---
 Net income $ 454 $ 167 ---
 Income per share:
 Before change in accounting
 principle $.35 $.29(a) 21
 Catch-up adjustment for change in accounting
 for postretirement benefits other than pensions
 Consolidated operations --- (.11) ---
 Equity investments --- (.05) ---
 Net income per share $.35 $.13 ---
 Average shares outstanding 1,306 1,327 (2)
 (a) Net income per share and average shares outstanding have been adjusted to reflect a two-for-one stock split, effective May 1, 1992.
 -0- 4/13/93
 /CONTACT: Linda Peek of The Coca-Cola Company, 404-676-4848/
 (KO)


CO: The Coca-Cola Company ST: Georgia IN: FOD SU: ERN

BR-BN -- AT004 -- 5041 04/13/93 08:08 EDT
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Date:Apr 13, 1993
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