Coke Pulls 2020 Earnings Guidance Amid 'Material' Coronavirus Risks

Coke said coronavirus-lead travel restrictions, restaurant closures and cancelled sporting events could have a "material" impact on its 2020 earnings.
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The Coca-Cola Company  (KO) - Get Report cautioned Friday that it does not expect to meet its prior earnings guidance for the year and said the coronavrus would have a 'material' impact on its global operations.

Coca-Cola said that while it's asking its office-based employees to work remotely, it has contingency plans in place to ensure "continuous supply" to customers and doesn't expect near-term disruptions. However, the company said government restrictions to reduce the spread of COVID-19, as well as the cancellation of major sporting events around the world, could have a material impact on its financial and operating results. 

Coke had said on January 30 that it expected organic revenues to rise by around 5% this year, with comparable earnings increasing by around 7.25% to $2.25 per share. 

"These initiatives, in combination with the latest movements in foreign exchange rates, will have a negative impact on our full year financial and operating results and, therefore, we do not expect to achieve our previously provided full year guidance," Coke said in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing "Due to the speed with which the COVID-19 situation is developing, there is uncertainty around its ultimate impact; therefore, the negative impact on our financial and operating results cannot be reasonably estimated at this time, but the impact could be material."

Coca-Cola shares were marked 1.7% lower in early trading Friday following the guidance update to change hands at $41.15 each, a move that extends the stock's one-month decline to around 31%.