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Earnings Pop at Coke

The results top estimates by 3 cents a share.


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posted a 13% rise in third-quarter profits, topping analysts' per-share estimate, as the beverage giant was bolstered by strength overseas.

The Atlanta-based company posted net income of $1.65 billion, or 71 cents a share, up from $1.46 billion, or 62 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts polled by Thomson Financial projected earnings of 68 cents a share.

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Revenue rose 19% to $7.69 billion from $6.45 billion a year earlier. Analysts expected revenue of $7.32 billion.

Coke's unit case volume climbed 6% in the quarter, with its international division recording an 8% rise. In North America, volume rose 1%.

"Once again, this strong performance was led by our international business," said CEO Neville Isdell. "Emerging market growth, combined with sequential improvement in North America, resulted in our third consecutive quarter of 6% unit case volume growth."

Coke's volume growth in the sparkling beverage segment, which includes its namesake soda, rose 4% in the quarter. In still beverages, volumes jumped 14%.

Coke has been working to enhance its drink offerings beyond its trademark carbonated syrupy beverages as lighter, healthier alternates gain favor with customers. In May, the company made a big bet in the still-beverage segment, agreeing to buy the maker of Vitaminwater for $4.1 billion.