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Coke (KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company Report beat third-quarter earnings targets as sales rose 7% from a year ago.

The Atlanta-based corn syrup carbonator made $1.46 billion, or 62 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 29. That's up from the year-ago $1.28 billion, or 54 cents a share. The latest quarter was aided to the tune of a penny a share by a tax benefit.

Revenue rose to $6.45 billion from $6.04 billion a year earlier. Worldwide case unit volume rose 5%, led by a 7% gain internationally.

Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 59-cent profit on sales of $6.21 billion.

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"I am pleased with our performance in the quarter and year-to-date, with most key markets making a positive contribution," CEO Neville Isdell said. "Once again we produced solid results and cycled 5% volume growth in the prior year quarter by successfully balancing performance across our global markets as well as our product portfolio.

"We continue to achieve strong growth in emerging markets, including Brazil, China and Russia, as well as in other important markets across Latin America. Europe had a strong quarter following successful World Cup promotions and generally favorable summer weather.

"At the same time, we have started the recovery in Japan and are addressing the softness in North America. We remain committed to achieving acceptable, long-term performance in these key markets."