by Christopher Freeburn | February 18, 2014 10:33 am
On Tuesday, Coca-Cola (KO) reported that North American soda sales sank during the fourth quarter, sending Coca-Cola stock down more than 3% in morning trading.
Coca-Cola stock dropped after the company posted quarterly earnings of $1.71 billion, down from $1.87 billion in the year-ago period. Adjusted EPS came in at 46 cents, which matched analysts’ forecasts. However, Coca-Cola revenue during the quarter was $11.04 billion, lower than the prior-year period and less than the $11.31 billion that Wall Street was looking for, the Associated Press noted.
Soda sales in North American fell 3% during the quarter. Declining soda sales were partially offset by improved sales of non-carbonated Coca-Cola drinks in the region. Overall North American beverage sales dipped 1% for the quarter.
Coca-Cola has been criticized by health advocates over the sugar and calorie content of its sodas, which advocates claim contributes to rising levels of obesity in developed nations. In response, Coca-Cola has stepped up promotion of low and no-calorie drinks and has altered its advertising.
KO stock closed at $38.93 on Friday. Coca-Cola shares have risen about 3% over the past year.
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