Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is set to release its most recent quarterly results before the market opens on Tuesday. Consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters are calling for $0.55 in earnings per share (EPS) and $8.17 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $0.50 in EPS and $9.06 billion in revenue.
This stock had been considered down and out for so long that no one seemed to ever want to give its shares much recognition. It is far from a major growth stock in most investors’ minds, but its defensive stock characteristics make it a core holding for many blue chip investors.
After Coca-Cola’s most recent positive earnings report, it looked like the stock was finally starting to command more respect from Wall Street analysts. Not to mention the stock is up handily from its lows in May.
In August, the company reached an agreement to acquire Costa, a subsidiary of U.K.-traded Whitbread, for $5.1 billion in cash. The deal is expected to close in the first half of next year following approval by Whitbread shareholders.
The Costa brand includes more than 4,000 stores worldwide, including about 2,500 in the United Kingdom, along with other outlets in gas stations, movie theaters and travel hubs. Costa also has outlets in other European countries, the Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa.
Excluding Monday’s move, Coca-Cola has underperformed the broad markets, with its stock flat in the past 52 weeks. In just 2018 alone, there is not much difference in the stock.
A few analysts weighed in on Coca-Cola ahead of the report:
- Goldman Sachs has a Neutral rating and a $46 price target.
- Wells Fargo has a Buy rating with a $52 price target.
- RBC has a Buy rating with a $56 price target.
- Jefferies has a Neutral rating with a $48 price target.
- Macquarie has a Neutral rating and a $47 price target.
- Morgan Stanley has a Neutral rating with a $50 target.
Shares of Coca-Cola were last seen up 1% at $46.35, with a consensus analyst price target of $50.93. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $41.45 to $48.62.