Coca-Cola Beats Revenue Forecasts as Newer Drinks Demand Drives Sales

Coca-Cola says its newer drinks, as well as its sugar-free options, help drive stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings.

Coca-Cola Co.  (KO) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected fourth quarter revenues Thursday as demand for its newer drinks, including Coke Zero and Coca-Cola Plus Coffee, offset headwinds from a stronger U.S. dollar.

Coca-Cola said non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in December were pegged at 44 cents per share, up a penny from the same period last year and largely in-line with the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, Coca-Cola said, jumped 29% to $9.1 billion, topping analysts' estimates of an $8.89 billion tally.

Looking into 2020, Coca-Cola said its sees comparable revenues rising only by 1%, as they're hit by a stronger U.S. dollar, although organic sales should rise by around 5%. Comparable earnings, Coca-Cola said, should rise by around 7% to $2.25 per share. 

"We made good progress in 2019 by delivering on our financial commitments and growing in a more sustainable way," said CEO James Quincey. "We continue to transform the organization to act with a growth mindset, which gives us confidence in our 2020 targets and our ability to create a better shared future for all of our stakeholders."

Coca-Cola shares were marked 1.7% higher in early Thursday trading following the earnings release to change hands at $57.92 each.