(RTTNews) - Beverages giant Coca-Cola Co. (KO) reported Tuesday a profit for the third quarter that increased six percent from last year, despite a revenue drop, reflecting increased worldwide volumes. Adjusted earnings per share for the quarter matched analysts' expectations, while quarterly revenues missed their estimates by a whisker.
"We delivered sound third quarter results in the confines of an ongoing challenged macroeconomic environment driven by increasing volatility across emerging markets. Our global volume grew 2% in the quarter and we continued to grow worldwide value share in total nonalcoholic ready-to-drink beverages due to the strength of our portfolio, the diversity of our global footprint and an ongoing concerted focus on marketplace execution," Chairman and CEO Muhtar Kent said in a statement.
The company also continued its value share gains for the 25th consecutive quarter in total nonalcoholic ready-to-drink (NARTD) beverages, as well as in core sparkling and still beverages. Volume and value share gains were seen across core sparkling, juice and juice drinks, sports drinks, and ready-to-drink tea.
The Atlanta, Georgia-based company, which celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2011, reported net income of $2.45 billion or $0.54 per share for the third quarter, higher than $2.31 billion or $0.50 per share in the prior-year quarter.
Excluding charges and gains, adjusted net income for the quarter was $2.38 billion or $0.53 per share, compared to $2.33 billion or $0.51 per share in the year-ago quarter.
On average, 16 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report earnings of $0.53 per share for the third quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Net operating revenues for the quarter declined 3 percent to $12.03 billion from $12.34 billion in the same quarter last year, and missed thirteen Wall Street analysts' consensus estimate of $12.05 billion by a whisker. Meanwhile, comparable currency neutral net revenues grew 4 percent.
The revenue decline reflected 1 percent drop in concentrate sales, 2 percent negative price/mix and 2 percent unfavorable currency effect, partially offset by a 4 percent benefit due to structural changes.
Worldwide volumes grew 2 percent, reflecting volume growth in North America, Pacific as well as Eurasia and Africa. Coca-Cola Americas volume growth was 1 percent, and International volume growth was 3 percent.
Brand Coca-Cola volume grew 2 percent worldwide and 2 percent in North America in the third quarter.
The company said worldwide sparkling beverages volume grew 1 percent. Worldwide still beverage volume grew 3 percent, with solid growth across most beverage categories, including packaged water, and energy drinks.
Europe group's volume declined 1 percent, and Latin America group's volume remained flat, while Eurasia and Africa group's volume grew 4 percent. North America Group's volume increased 2 percent and Pacific Group's volume rose 5 percent.
The company reported solid volume growth across key developed markets and increased volatility in several emerging markets. Volumes in China grew 9 percent and India delivered 6 percent volume growth.
The company said it continues to expect its four-year productivity initiatives along with its reinvestment program to generate annualized savings of $550 to $650 million which will be phased in over four years starting in 2012. The full realization of the annual benefits of these savings is expected to begin in 2015.
KO closed Monday's regular trading session at $37.91, up $0.25 on a volume of 14.20 million shares. In the past 52-week period, the stock has been trading in a range of $35.58 to $43.43.