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Coca-Cola Tops Q3 Earnings Forecast on Improving At-Home Sales

Coca-Cola is shedding around 200 brands, or about half of its entire portfolio, as it trims costs and narrows its focus amid declining business-focused sales during the coronavirus pandemic.

Coca-Cola Co.  (KO)  posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Thursday thanks to improving at-home sales, but decline to offer full-year profit guidance amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. 

Coca-Cola said adjusted non-GAAP earnings for the three months ending in September were pegged at 55 cents per share, down one penny from the same period last year but 9 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, the company said, fell 11.22% to $8.7 billion, a figure that also topped analysts' estimates of an $8.36 billion tally as at-home sales offset the ongoing slide in restaurant and sports stadium channels, which remain fully or partially closed around the country and much of western Europe.

Coca-Cola also said that, given the ongoing evolution of the global pandemic, the group's "full year financial and operating results cannot be reasonably estimated", but noted that currency headwinds will hit current quarter and 2020 revenue totals by around 3%  

"Throughout this year's crisis, our system has remained focused on its beverages for life strategy. We are accelerating our transformation that was already underway, shaping our company to recover faster than the broader economic recovery," said CEO James Quincey. "While many challenges still lie ahead, our progress in the quarter gives me confidence we are on the right path." 

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Coca-Cola shares were marked 1.4% higher in early trading following the earnings release to change hands at $50.68 each.

Earlier this month, Coca-Cola rival PepsiCo.  (PEP)  said earnings for the three months ending in August rose 5.8% on revenues of $18.1 billion 

Looking into the final months of the year, PepsiCo said it sees core earnings of $5.50 per share, jumping ahead of the Refinitiv forecast of $5.36 per share.