Coca-Cola Enterprises ( CCE), Coca-Cola's bottling division, reported a huge gain in first-quarter profit and forecast a better-than-expected full-year outlook, sending shares up in afternoon trading.

Earnings during the quarter reached $61 million, or 13 cents a share, from $8 million, or 2 cents, in the first quarter of last year.

Excluding one-time items, earnings were 20 cents a share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 5 cents.

Last week PepsiCo ( PEP) announced plans to take control of its two biggest bottlers, a move that could smooth distribution and boost its bottom line. The company offered to pay $6 billion for majority stakes in Pepsi Bottling ( PBG) and PepsiAmericas ( PAS). The company already owns 33% and 43% of the companies, respectively.

The announcement has led investors to believe that Coca-Cola will also try to buy its bottlers, especially if the move turns into a positive for Pepsi.

Coca-Cola Enterprises saw revenue rise 3% to $5.05 billion from $4.89 billion a year ago.

The company expects 2009 earnings in the range of $1.24 to $1.29 a share, which includes a negative impact of 20 cents a share as overseas sales are expected to be hurt by the stronger dollar. Coca-Cola previously forecast that its profit would grow by mid-single digits.

By mid-afternoon Tuesday, shares in the company had climbed 5% to $15.90.

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