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Oct 18, 2019

Coca-Cola jumps as bets on new products pay off

Cans of Coca-Cola Co. brand Zero-Sugar cherry soda sit on display at the Swire Coca-Cola bottling plant in West Valley City, Utah, U.S., on Friday, April 19, 2019. The Coca-Cola Co. is scheduled to release earnings figures on April 23.

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Coca-Cola Co. climbed after low-sugar offerings like Coca-Cola Zero Sugar and international sales drove brisk revenue growth in the third quarter.

The beverage giant said unit case volume grew by two per cent, while net revenue expanded eight per cent to US$9.5 billion. The key metric of organic revenue, which strips out some items like currency effects, jumped five per cent — higher than analysts’ average estimate for a 4.1-per-cent gain.

KEY INSIGHTS

• As U.S. consumers increasingly opt for sparkling waters and plant-based milks over sugary beverages, Coke is betting big on offerings in these categories and reported double-digit volume growth in Coca-Cola Zero Sugar in the U.S.

• Coke has also been looking abroad to boost its sales, and results show the strategy is working on a number of brands. The company reported “strong growth” in Minute Maid Pulpy in China and coffee and tea in Japan.

MARKET REACTION

• Coke shares rose as much as 2.9 per cent to US$55.35 in early trading on Friday before paring some of the gain. The stock has gained 14 per cent this year, trailing the S&P 500 Index.

--With assistance from Janet Freund