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The Coca-Cola Company Reports Full-Year And Fourth Quarter 2012 Results

Stocks in this article: KO

Reported SG&A expenses grew 1% in the quarter, and comparable SG&A expenses were even in the quarter. Currency decreased comparable SG&A expenses by 1% in the quarter. We captured nine points of operating expense leverage in the quarter, reflecting the benefit of two additional selling days in the quarter. In addition, operating expense leverage benefited from the timing of certain operating expenses and the reversal of expenses related to our long-term incentive plans for certain performance periods due to the unfavorable impact that currencies had, or are projected to have, on those plans. It is important to remember that a portion of our stock-based compensation is based on multi-year performance periods and includes the impact of currency. For the full year, both reported and comparable SG&A expenses increased 2%. Comparable currency neutral SG&A expenses increased 5%, which reflects our continued investments around the world in the health and strength of our brands, as well as the cost of adding incremental “feet on the street,” primarily in North America and the Bottling Investments Group, in support of our growing business. SG&A also included a benefit from the reversal of expenses related to our long-term incentive plans for certain performance periods due to the unfavorable impact that currencies had, or are projected to have, on those plans. We captured one point of operating expense leverage in 2012, consistent with our prior expectations of slightly positive operating expense leverage for the full year. For 2013, we estimate operating expense leverage to be even to slightly positive for the full year.

Fourth quarter reported operating income increased 12%, with comparable currency neutral operating income up 14%. Full-year reported and comparable currency neutral operating income both increased 6%. Items impacting comparability reduced fourth quarter 2012 operating income by $300 million and reduced full-year 2012 operating income by $471 million. Items impacting comparability reduced fourth quarter 2011 operating income by $283 million and reduced full-year 2011 operating income by $896 million. Currency reduced comparable operating income by 4% in the quarter and 5% for the full year. For 2013, including our hedge positions, current spot rates and the cycling of our prior year rates, as well as the recent devaluation announcement in Venezuela, we estimate currency will have a 4% unfavorable impact on operating income for the first quarter of 2013 and a 1% unfavorable impact for the full year.

On a full-year basis, our net share repurchases totaled $3.1 billion, slightly above the high end of our previous outlook of $2.5 to $3.0 billion. In 2013, we are targeting net share repurchases of $3.0 to $3.5 billion for the full year.

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