Coca-Cola Revenue Up Despite Declining Diet Coke Sales
Coca-Cola reported its fourth-quarter results Tuesday, reporting an overall rise in sales despite a continued decline in sales of Diet Coke. According to the report, average daily sales for the quarter were up 2 percent from the same period a year earlier, while sales of non-carbonated beverages like bottled water rose 6 percent. The company sees falling Diet Coke sales as a largely US problem, as sales of the diet beverage slumped 5 percent in the final three months of 2015. At the same time, sales of Coke Zero are up. Executives, therefore, have assumed that at least some of Diet Coke's decline is because consumers have switched from one diet beverage to another.
In the three months ended December 31st, Coca-Cola's earnings totaled $1.24 billion, or 28 cents per share. Excluding certain one-time items, earnings were 38 cents per share, outpacing the average expectations of economists in a recent Zacks survey by a penny. Overall revenue, meanwhile, slipped 8 percent from the year-earlier period to $10 billion, though that was still higher than the $9.86 billion projected in the Zacks survey. Coke shares have lost approximately 1 percent of their value so far this year, but are still up 3 percent over the last 12 months. The 1 percent decline is actually promising for the drink maker, given that the Standard & Poor's 500 has lost nearly 10 percent on the year.