Buffett told CNBC quite simply that there is "absolutely no chance of that" happening. Winters, the founder and CEO of Wintergreen Advisers, has sent notices to Coca-Cola's shareholders and board as well as Buffett himself to criticize the company's 2014 equity plan. Winters believes this plan "will significantly erode the per-share value of Coca-Cola shares."
Coca-Cola rose in pre-market trading after Winters' remarks in an interview with Fox Business. The stock was up 0.22% to $40.75 at 10:07 a.m. following Buffett's comments.
In other news, Coca-Cola also partnered with 3D Systems (DDD) and Black Eyed Peas front man will.i.am to create the Ekocycle Cube, a 3D printer that takes some of its materials from recycled plastic bottles.
Furthermore, Coca-Cola is an official partner of FIFA for the 2014 World Cup, which is underway in Brazil.
Separately, 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 a number of strengths, 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 generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The gross profit margin for COCA-COLA CO is rather high; currently it is at 65.87%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 15.30% is above that of the industry average.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 123.01% to $1,066.00 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, COCA-COLA CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of -9.55%.
- COCA-COLA CO's earnings per share declined by 7.7% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has suffered a declining pattern of earnings per share over the past year. However, we anticipate this trend reversing over the coming year. During the past fiscal year, COCA-COLA CO reported lower earnings of $1.90 versus $1.96 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.10 versus $1.90).
- KO, with its decline in revenue, slightly underperformed the industry average of 2.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 4.2%. The declining revenue appears to have seeped down to the company's bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: KO Ratings Report