Coca-Cola Enterprises Boosts Guidance

Major Coke bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises has boosted its earnings estimate after reporting better-than-expected first quarter net income.
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NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Major Coke bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises (CCE) has boosted its earnings estimate after reporting better-than-expected first quarter net income.

Coca-Cola Enterprises' full-year estimates include a 10% increase in comparable earnings per share, up from its previous estimate of a high-single-digit growth; and revenue increase at a low single-digit rate, as it had previously expected -- driven by mid-single-digit growth in Europe and flat to low single-digit decline in North America.

Though it remains too early to accurately evaluate the currency impact on earnings per share, at current rates, there would be a negative impact of about 3 cents a share for the remainder of 2010, resulting in a negative 2-cent impact for the full-year, the company said.

Coca-Cola Enterprises on Tuesday reported first-quarter net income of $106 million, or 21 cents a share, versus $61 million, or 13 cents a share the year before. After adjusting for items affecting comparability, net income tallied up to be $138 million, or 27 cents a share, beating the average Wall Street estimate of 22 cents a share.

Net operating revenue for Coca-Cola Enterprises fell 1.5% to $4.968 billion, below the Wall Street consensus target of $5.08 billion; the company said it had experienced solid operating income growth in Europe, driven by a combination of pricing and volume. However, overall operating conditions remained soft in North America.

Coca-Cola Enterprises said that the sale of its North American operations to

Coke

(KO) - Get Report

, and its acquisition of Coke's bottling operations in Norway and Sweden, remain on track to close in the fourth quarter. After the transaction is complete, Coca-Cola Enterprises expects to repurchase about $1 billion of shares within the following 18 months, and pay an expected annual dividend of 50 cents a share.

On Monday, Coca-Cola Enterprises declared a regular quarterly dividend of 9 cents a share.

Coca-Cola Enterprises stock has risen 1.5% to $28.57 about two hours into Tuesday's the trading session.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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