Will Q2 Results Push Coca-Cola Stock Price Target Higher?

July 23, 2019 by Paul Ausick

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) reported second-quarter 2019 results before markets opened Tuesday. The soft-drink maker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.63 on revenues of $10.0 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $0.60 on revenues of $8.9 billion. Second-quarter results also compare to consensus estimates for $0.61 in EPS and $9.99 billion in revenues.

Adjusted operating margin was down slightly year over year from 30.6% to 30.3%. The company attributed the decline to a 185 basis point dip due to currency exchange rates and net acquisitions. Adjusted EPS also faced a nine-point currency headwind.

Cash from operations rose 68% year over year to $4.5 billion, while free cash flow rose 87% to $3.7 billion year to date.

Coca-Cola raised its full-year revenue guidance from 4% growth to 5%, as well as growth in operating income from 10% to 11% to a new range of 11% to 12%. Cash from operations now is forecast to rise from $8.0 billion to $8.5 billion, and capital spending was guided higher, from $2.0 billion to $2.4 billion. The company said it would continue its share buybacks at a rate to offset dilution from employee stock-based compensation plans.

Coca-Cola’s board chair and CEO, James Quincey, commented:

Our strategy to transform as a total beverage company has allowed us to continue to win in a growing and vibrant industry. Our progress is positioning the company to create more value for all of our stakeholders, including our shareowners.

For the third quarter, Coca-Cola forecast a 6% revenue tailwind from acquisitions, divestitures and structural items, partially offset by a 3% headwind from currency effects and the impact of hedges. Adjusted operating income is expected to dip 6% due to currency effects along with the impact of hedged positions.

Analysts have consensus estimates for third-quarter EPS of $0.58 and revenue of $9.67 billion. For the full year, they are looking for EPS of $2.10 and $37.36 billion in revenue.

Shares traded up about 1.6% in Tuesday’s premarket session to $52.08, in a 52-week range of $44.25 to $52.47. The consensus 12-month price target is $52.73. Coca-Cola pays a 3.11% dividend yield.