Why Coca-Cola (KO) Shares Are Falling Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Coca-Cola (KO) was falling 0.7% to $38.66 Monday on news that U.S. soda sales fell for the ninth straight year.

According to Beverage Digest, total sales volumes fell 3%to 8.9 billion cases in 2013, the lowest since 1995. Soda sales have declined every year since 2005.

Health concerns are a large reason for the decline in sales. "The beverage industry is getting more and more challenging in the U.S. The obesity and health and wellness headwinds are not letting up," Beverage Digest Editor John Sicher said. Sicher added that diet soda sales were impacted bu worries about the healthfulness of artificial sweeteners in the beverages.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates COCA-COLA CO as a Buy with a ratings score of B-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate COCA-COLA CO (KO) a BUY. This is driven by several positive factors, which we believe should have a greater impact than any weaknesses, and should give investors a better performance opportunity than most stocks we cover. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations, reasonable valuation levels and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

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