Coca-Cola Gets Boost From Overseas Sales

NEW YORK (TheStreet) - Coca-Cola's (KO) revenue from each case of Coke sold internationally, which includes concentrates and bottled beverages, has been rising slowly over the years.

The growth is driven by slight price rises as well as an increasing contribution of bottling investments to Coca-Cola's overall revenues. Coca-Cola mainly competes with PepsiCo ( PEP), Dr Pepper Snapple ( DPS), and National Beverage ( FIZZ) in the CSD market globally.

Coca-Cola is also benefiting from greater sales volumes from key emerging markets like India and China. We believe integrating the bottlers business into its own business and leveraging its strong brand image in carbonated soft drink (CSD) market, Coca-Cola will be able to increase its revenues from national and international operations.

While we expect Coca-Cola's average revenue from per case of coke sold internationally will increase slowly to $1.40 by the end of Trefis forecast period, Trefis members predict a higher revenue level of close to $2, representing an upside of 6% to KO stock.

We currently have a Trefis price estimate of $60.54 for Coca Cola's stock, about 4% below the current market price of $63.04.

Soft drinks manufacturers are realizing the importance of having their in-house bottling business. Coca-Cola's integration of the North American operations of bottler Coca-Cola Enterprises is a step in the right direction. The company expects to save at least $350 million per year, phased in over the next four years, as stated by Coca-Cola in its third-quarter 2010 earnings results.

The revenue contribution from bottling investments for Coca Cola has increased from about 18% in 2005 to over 26% in 2009. With increasing integration of bottlers, a higher portion of Coca Cola's sales volume will include bottled beverages that have a much higher selling price compared to concentrates. We expect this to sustain growth in revenue per case for Coke as well as other Coca Cola brands. One case of coke is equivalent to 192 oz volume of finished product.

Coca Cola is the global market leader and its flagship brand is the highest selling CSD brand internationally, with close to 21% volume market share. A strong market position allows the company to influence its bottling partners, and Coca Cola can leverage its position to drive slight rises in concentrate prices in the future.

Coca-Cola can also leverage its brand image to bolster sales internationally, which contributes around three-fourth of its total revenues. Out of its international markets, the company is focusing mainly on countries like India, Brazil and China, which are enjoying high sales growth.

Trefis members forecast Coca Cola's international revenue per case will increase from $1.50 in 2011 to $1.90 by the end of the Trefis forecast period, compared to the baseline Trefis estimate of an increase from $1.30 to $1.40 during the same period. The member estimates imply an upside of 6% to the Trefis price estimate for Coca Cola's stock.

Our complete analysis for Coca Cola's stock is here .

Trefis members constitute more than tens of thousands of users of the Trefis platform, inclusive of investors, financial analysts, and business professionals who use the Trefis platform to create their own models and price estimates.

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This commentary comes from an independent investor or market observer as part of TheStreet guest contributor program. The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of TheStreet or its management.

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