Coca-Cola Co Stock Buy Recommendation Reiterated (KO)

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) has been reiterated by TheStreet Ratings as a buy with a ratings score of A-. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its growth in earnings per share, notable return on equity, good cash flow from operations, expanding profit margins and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • COCA-COLA CO has improved earnings per share by 8.0% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past year. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, COCA-COLA CO increased its bottom line by earning $1.96 versus $1.85 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.09 versus $1.96).
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Beverages industry and the overall market, COCA-COLA CO's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • Net operating cash flow has slightly increased to $3,756.00 million or 2.56% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, COCA-COLA CO has also modestly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -5.17%.
  • The gross profit margin for COCA-COLA CO is rather high; currently it is at 64.29%. Regardless of KO's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, KO's net profit margin of 20.34% compares favorably to the industry average.
  • KO, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.5%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.5%. The declining revenue has not hurt the company's bottom line, with increasing earnings per share.

The Coca-Cola Company, a beverage company, engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. The company primarily offers sparkling beverages and still beverages. Coca-Cola has a market cap of $177.5 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and food & beverage industry. Shares are up 10.9% year to date as of the close of trading on Tuesday.

You can view the full Coca-Cola Ratings Report or get investment ideas from our investment research center.

--Written by a member of TheStreet Ratings Staff.

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