What to Watch in Coca-Cola Earnings on Thursday

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Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is set to report its most recent quarterly results before the markets open on Thursday. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters call for $0.43 in earnings per share (EPS) and $7.03 billion in revenue. The same period of last year reportedly had $0.39 in EPS and $7.51 billion in revenue.

Coca-Cola is rather defensive by nature, so it may hold up well if the markets are choppy in 2019, and the company keeps making investments away from its old carbonated sugar-water image. One thing to consider is that Coca-Cola shares are valued at about 22 times forward earnings. The beverage giant also can still point out that Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway are major long-term shareholders and that they have not sold any of their shares.

This top Buffet holding not only offers safety but an incredibly strong worldwide brand with 40% overseas sales. Coca-Cola is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Led by Coca-Cola, one of the world’s most valuable and recognizable brands, the company’s portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands including Diet Coke, Sprite and Powerade, just to name a few.

Coca-Cola has underperformed the broad markets, with its stock up about 5% year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the stock is actually up about 15%.

A few analysts weighed in on Coca-Cola ahead of the fourth-quarter report:

  • Merrill Lynch has a Buy rating with a $55 price target.
  • UBS Group has a Neutral rating and a $51 price target.
  • Jefferies has a Neutral rating with a $49 price target.
  • Macquarie’s Neutral rating comes with a $50 target.
  • RBC has a Buy rating with a $56 target price.
  • Citigroup has a Buy rating and a $56 price target.

Shares of Coca-Cola were last seen trading at $49.62, in a 52-week range of $41.45 to $50.84. The consensus price target is $51.88.

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