(By Balachander) Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) reported a 13 percent increase in quarterly profit, helped by global volume growth. Earnings also topped Wall Street projections, while revenue growth was slightly short of consensus.
On a comparable basis, earnings per share (EPS) rose 15.4 percent to 45 cents from 39 cents, and beat market expectations by a penny. Net earnings attributable to shareowners of Coca-Cola increased 13 percent to $1.86 billion.
Net operating revenue rose 4 percent to $11.45 billion, while Wall Street analysts' projected a growth of 4.60 percent. Global volume grew 3 percent for the fourth quarter with North America volume up 1 percent and international volume rising 4 percent.
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Reported gross margin contracted to 59.6 percent from 60.1 percent. Adjusted gross margin also shrank to 60.2 percent from 60.3 percent.
"In a year marked by continued uncertainty in the global economy, we delivered solid volume, revenue and profit growth, and we realized further volume and value share gains in nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages," CEO Muhtar Kent said.
KO ended Monday's regular trading session at $38.61. The stock has been trading in the 52-week range between $33.71 and $40.67.