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Coca-Cola Jumps as Bets on New Products Pay Off

Deena Shanker
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Coca-Cola Jumps as Bets on New Products Pay Off

(Bloomberg) -- Coca-Cola Co.’s international sales and low-sugar offerings like Coca-Cola Zero Sugar drove brisk revenue growth in the third quarter. Shares rose the most intraday since July.

The beverage giant said unit case volume grew by 2%, while net revenue expanded 8% to $9.5 billion. The key metric of organic revenue, which strips out some items like currency effects, jumped 5% -- higher than analysts’ average estimate for a 4.1% 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.Overseas sales have also been a bright spot. The company reported “strong growth” in Minute Maid Pulpy in China and coffee and tea in Japan. And local celebrity endorsements and digital marketing helped the company’s smartwater line become India’s second-largest premium water brand.Coke maintained its projection for 5% organic sales growth this year -- a sign it doesn’t see its performance slowing at the end of the year. The company now expects to spend about $2.2 billion in capital expenditures, up from the prior forecast of $2 billion. The company said on a call that it will provide its full 2020 forecast in February.

Market Reaction

Coke shares rose as much as 2.4% on Friday. The stock had risen 14% this year through Thursday's close, trailing the S&P 500 Index.Get more on the numbers here.

(Adds details from conference call)

--With assistance from Janet Freund and Karen Lin.

To contact the reporter on this story: Deena Shanker in New York at dshanker@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Anne Riley Moffat at ariley17@bloomberg.net, Jonathan Roeder, Cécile Daurat

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