soared past earnings estimates, beating expectations by a large 11 cents.
The world's largest soft-drink maker posted ongoing earnings per diluted share of 32 cents. Analysts surveyed by
First Call/Thomson Financial
projected earnings for the quarter of 21 cents per share.
After taking a planned $405 million writedown on the carrying value of its assets in India and after other non-recurring items, Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said it lost $58 million, or 2 cents a diluted share. This compared with net income of $747 million, or 30 cents a share, in last year's first quarter.
In particular, Coke said its worldwide unit case volume in the first quarter increased by 2% on a comparable basis. Earlier this month, Coke told analysts it expected comparable case volume growth of 1.5% for the quarter.
"During the quarter, we started to see momentum in many of our key markets," said Douglas N. Daft, the recently installed chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. Specifically, Coke said a strong performance in key international markets such as Mexico, Brazil, Spain and Japan buoyed growth in the quarter.
Coke also said it remains comfortable with consensus estimates for full-year 2000 and 2001. Analysts expect the company to earn $1.44 per share this year and $1.76 per share next year.
Coke shares were down 7/8, or 2%, to 47 5/8 in early trading Tuesday. (Coke finished down 13/16, or 1.7%, at 47 11/16.)
Separately, Coke's No. 1 bottler,
, posted a loss for the quarter of 8 cents per share, in line with analysts' estimates. In the first quarter of 1999, the Atlanta-based bottler lost 15 cents per shares. Shares of Coca-Cola Enterprises were up 1/16 to 21 5/16 in early trading. (Coca-Cola Enterprises finished up 1/4, or 1.2%, at 21 1/2.)