Coca-Cola Ekes Out a Profit Beat

ATLANTA ( TheStreet) -- Coca-Cola ( KO) reported flat year-over-year earnings for the third quarter with revenue slipping 4%, mainly because of a negative foreign currency impact.

The Atlanta-based soft drinks maker posted a profit of $1.9 billion, or 81 cents a share, in the latest three months, roughly the same as last year.

Excluding the impact of restructuring charges and costs, the Dow Jones Industrial Average component earned $1.92 billion, or 82 cents a share, in the latest period. Revenue totaled $8.04 billion in the September quarter, compared with $8.39 billion a year earlier.

The average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters is for a profit of 81 cents a share in the September period on revenue of $8.11 billion.

Total company unit case volume rose 2% for the quarter with the biggest increases seen in Latin America (7%) and the Pacific region (6%). On an overall basis, Coca-Cola's international operations saw a 4% increase in unit case volume, led by growth of 37% in India, 15% in China and 3% in Brazil.

"Although we expect the consumer to continue facing economic uncertainties into 2010 and for consumer sentiment to recover slowly, we believe more than ever that we have the right strategies being executed, the right leadership team in place and have taken the right actions this year to drive continued growth and to make the most of the abundant opportunities before us," said Muhtar Kent, Coca-Cola chairman and CEO, in a statement Tuesday.

The stock closed Monday at $54.79 after reaching a 52-week high of $55.50 earlier in the session. Shares are up nearly 18% for the past year.

-- Reported by Michael Baron in New York.

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