The Coca-Cola Company (KO - Get Report) posted stronger-than-expected first quarter earnings Tuesday as organic sales growth and operating margins showed solid improvements from last year.

Coca-Cola said earnings for the three months ending in March came in at 48 cents per share, up 1 penny from the same period last year and 2 cents ahead of the consensus forecast, although a portion of that was related to a Brexit-linked inventory buildup in its European division. Group revenues, Coke said, rose 5% from last year to $8 billion and again beat the Street forecast of $7.9 billion thanks in part to renewed demand for carbonated drinks and new brands such as vanilla orange-flavored Coke.

Coca-Cola also reiterated its 2019 sales and profits guidance targets, including an organic revenue growth rate of around 4% and comparable earnings per share growth of between -1% to +1%.

"We're encouraged by our first quarter results as our disciplined growth strategies continue to deliver strong underlying performance," said CEO James Quincey. "We remain confident in our full year guidance as we continue to make progress on our transformation as a consumer-centric total beverage company."

Coca-Cola shares were marked 1.71% higher Tuesday following the earnings release to change hands at $48.21 each, a move that takes the stock's year-to-date gain to around 2.7% 

Last week, rival PepsiCo (PEP - Get Report)  booked the fastest pace of organic sales growth in more than three years of 5.2% as it topped Street estimates in its first quarter earnings report.

PepsiCo said earnings for the three months ended in March came in at $1 per share, up from 94 cents over the same period in 2018 and well ahead of the Street consensus of 93 cents per share, as sales rose 2.5% to $12.88 billion.