Saturday is certainly a day that is going to get America's blood pumping.
Whether you're a sports fan gearing up for the Kentucky Derby or a finance geek waiting to tune into billionaire investor Warren Buffett's musings at Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A) big annual shareholder meeting, there is a ton going on.
At the meeting, Buffett will address thousands of Berkshire shareholders and talk about everything from individual stocks to the economy to politics.
Coca-Cola (KO) will likely come up at the meeting at least once after its tepid first-quarter earnings report, as it's one of Berkshire's longest-owned stocks and largest positions, alongside Wells Fargo (WFC)
Buffett has always been a big supporter of Coca-Cola and its products, especially his favorite Cherry Coke. His face even started popping up on Cherry Coke cans in China last month.
Given his affinity for the brand, it's unlikely that Buffett will say his Berkshire Hathaway will look to slash its stake (or already did so) in Coca-Cola, as it allegedly did with IBM (IBM) in a new disclosure on Friday. That's despite Coke rival PepsiCo's (PEP) strong first-quarter and better stock price performance in recent years. Coca-Cola's stock has only risen 12.2 percent over the last five years, under-performing PepsiCo's 68 percent gain.
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Berkshire, as of the end of 2016, owned about 400 million shares of Coca-Cola, making it Coke's largest shareholder with a 9.3% stake. Shares had a market worth roughly $17.4 billion.
Coca-Cola has continued to rely on being a beverage company in a shifting world where Americans are eating more snacks than meals, while also ditching sugary soda and aspartame laden diet colas. In turn, Coca-Cola's results have soured of late, wheres PepsiCo has prospered due to a more diversified product portfolio headlined by a steady stream of "guiltless" snacks from Frito Lay and Quaker.
Still, there's excitement surrounding the recent appointment of Coca-Cola's former Chief Operating Officer James Quincey to CEO, as he helped the company switch its focus to less-sugary drinks and has expressed interest in making more acquisitions. Quincey, who replaced former CEO Muhtar Kent on May 1, was the primary reason for a recent stock upgrade by analysts over at Credit-Suisse. But even the Credit-Suisse analysts admitted Coke has lagged Pepsi.
"Consumer purchasing behavior has changed significantly over the past few years and Coke has not always been quick to respond," the Credit-Suisse team said. "As a result, PepsiCo has a head start building leadership in a number of key categories including sports [drinks], tea and coffee."
Quincey told analysts on a conference call in April that Coca-Cola will focus on its healthy drink brands such as Honest Tea and Smartwater, but JJ Kinahan, TD Ameritrade chief market strategist, told TheStreet that this might not be enough.
"When your primary business is under attack, I think not considering other revenue sources would be a big mistake," Kinahan said, suggesting that Coca-Cola consider M&A opportunities outside beverages.
Whatever Quincey does decide to do, he should leave Buffett's Cherry Coke untouched.
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Editors' pick: Originally published May 6.