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Coca-Cola Profit Rises 13%: Hot Trends

Stocks in this article: KO PEP

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Popular searches on the Internet include Coca-Cola (KO) after the company reported an increase of 13% in fourth-quarter profit on higher global sales volume.

Coke reported global sales growth of 3%, driven by international sales. Coke has been shifting its focus to emerging markets with growing middle classes where the market for its products isn't saturated, as it is in the U.S. and Europe.

The company earned $1.87 billion, or 41 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $1.66 billion, or 36 cents share, in the same quarter a year ago. Excluding items, the company reported profit of 45 cents a share. Analysts had been looking for an adjusted profit of 44 cents a share on revenue of $11.53 billion.

Hostess Brands is trending as the company was granted approval by a bankruptcy judge to hold an auction for some of its brands.

Flower Foods, McKee Foods, United States Bakery, Apollo Global Management and C. Dean Metropoulos & Co. have been approved as lead bidders, otherwise called "stalking-horse" bidders for Hostess products. The date for a sale hearing to approve the best bids has been set for March 19.

According to reports, Apollo and Metropoulos offered as much as $410 million for the Hostess snack-cake business, while Flower Foods has two purchase agreements for Hostess products, one for $360 million and another for $30 million. McKee Foods has agreed to pay $27.5 million for the Drake's product line, while United States Bakery has offered $28.9 million for brands including Eddy's and Standish Farms.

The approval comes three months after Hostess filed for bankruptcy following negotiations with the Bakery, Confectionery, Tobacco and Grain Millers union that broke down and the union went on strike.

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