Earnings

Coca-Cola expects coronavirus to lower first-quarter earnings, but holds firm to its 2020 forecast

Coca-Cola said Friday that the COVID-19 outbreak could drag down its first-quarter earnings by as much as 2 cents.

The global beverage giant is forecasting that the virus will hit its quarterly earnings by 1 cent to 2 cents, unit case volume by 2% to 3% and organic revenue by 1% to 2%.

Despite the hit to its first-quarter financial results, the company still expects to meet its full-year targets. Coke estimates 2020 organic revenue will grow by 5% and adjusted earnings per share will increase by 7% to $2.25. In 2019, the company  reported net sales of $37.3 billion and earnings per share of $2.07.

Shares of the company are down less than 1% in premarket trading. The stock, which has a market value of $256 billion, is up 30% over the last 12 months.

Coke executives told analysts on its fourth-quarter earnings call in late January that China accounts for about 10% of its global volume but less of its profits and revenue. The company expects to provide more information about the outbreak’s impact on its business during its first-quarter earnings call in April.

Coke will be presenting at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference in Boca Raton, Florida, later on Friday morning.

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