- Coca-Cola Co. is projected to maintain its momentum with fourth-quarter net income advancing 10% and revenue up 7% at $10.8 billion.
- Analysts are looking for a big jump in Coca-Cola’s revenue earned in Latin America and nearly 5% growth from North America.
- Investors will be monitoring the company’s results on unit case volume to see if consumers continue to accept higher prices from inflation or if weight-loss drugs begin to cut into sales.
Analysts project another quarter of growth for the soft-drinks maker, both in the top and bottom lines, when it reports earnings before Tuesday’s market open.
According to data from Visible Alpha, analysts anticipate Coca-Cola’s 2023 fourth-quarter net income will increase by nearly 10% to $2.15 billion on revenue of $10.76 billion, a nearly 7% jump from the year-ago quarter.
Analysts are also expecting earnings per share (EPS) to increase 4 cents to 49 cents. Free cash flow for the quarter is projected to drop to $1.93 billion from $2.24 billion in the 2022 fourth quarter.
The world’s most valuable beverage company has been forecasting improved results after recent reports showed that higher prices were meaningfully affecting its sales. After stronger-than-expected sales in the prior quarter, Coca-Cola raised its full-year guidance for EPS and lifted its full-year revenue forecast to 10% to 11% for 2024.
|Analyst Estimates for Q4 2023
|Earnings Per Share
Key Metric: Unit Case Volume
The measurement of the volume of beverages sold for Coca-Cola strips out how currency rates and price changes can affect revenue, providing a better look at how many bottles the drink maker is selling. Coca-Cola improved unit case volume last quarter, due in part to increased volume in Latin America and Asia-Pacific, and increased sales of Coke Zero Sugar in North America.
One concern for investors is the impact of Ozempic, a diabetes drug that is also used for weight loss, as it and similar weight-loss treatments are raising worries that these products could undercut consumers’ snacking appetite. Last quarter’s sales showed that so far, weight-loss drugs had yet to undercut sales of Cokes, Sprites, Fantas, and other brands.
Business Spotlight: Latin American Growth
Coca-Cola is projected to increase revenue across all its geographic regions, with North American growth forecast at 4.7% year-over-year and revenue from Latin America jumping nearly 13%. While stronger than any other region, growth in Latin America will be much lower than it was this time last year, when it posted a 26% year-over-year revenue growth.
North American revenue growth projections would be the lowest of any quarter this year and would be the company’s lowest fourth-quarter revenue increase since the pandemic year of 2020. The company is also expected to reverse its prior-year losses in Europe to grow its quarterly revenue by about 4.5%.
While Coca-Cola is increasing revenue and expanding its global reach, the stock hasn’t responded. Despite raising its full-year guidance last July, its share price failed to follow suit, falling 15% by early October, before recovering most of those losses by year’s end.