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Coca-Cola Posts Profit Beat

Coca-Cola (KO) delivered a first-quarter earnings beat before the market open Wednesday.

The Atlanta-based soft drink maker posted earnings of $1.5 million, or 64 cents a share, up 19% over the $1.26 billion, or 54 cents a share, it posted last year. Excluding 3 cents in charges, adjusted EPS came to 67 cents, better than the 63 cents analysts were expecting.

Revenue came to $7.38 billion, up from $6.1 billion a year ago and better than the $6.85 billion Wall Street anticipated, according to Thomson First Call data.

Coke saw a boost from international markets as well as currency benefits, which helped ongoing operating income by 11% in the quarter.

Coke reported that unit case volume increased 6% in the quarter, with international operations delivering 7% unit case volume growth. The greatest growth increases came from emerging markets such as China, India, Brazil, Turkey, Russia, Eastern Europe and the Philippines. In North America, unit case volume was flat in the quarter.

"Our International business once again led the way, with both sparkling and still beverages contributing to our results. We do recognize there is still much more work to be done, especially in our flagship North America market with its challenging economic environment," Muhtar Kent, Coke's COO said in the company's earnings release.

Coca-Cola shares, which saw an early premarket lift, were recently trading just above the flat line at $60.96. Meanwhile, fellow beverage makers Pepsi (PEP) and Cadbury Schweppes (CSG) were trading in opposite directions. Pepsi was down 0.6% at $70.79, while Schweppes was up 1% at $44.29.

This article was written by a staff member of TheStreet.com.

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