Coca-Cola withdraws 2020 outlook amid coronavirus pandemic


James Quincey, President and chief operating officer of the Coca-Cola company.

Patrick Kovarik | AFP | Getty Images

Coca-Cola on Friday said that it does not expect to meet its financial outlook for 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Around the world, sporting events and concerts have been canceled, movie theaters and restaurants have been closed, and people are working from home. Those initiatives to promote social distancing, along with currency fluctuations, are expected to hit Coke’s business, according to a regulatory filing.

The beverage giant joins the growing list of companies like Ford Motor and Darden Restaurants that have withdrawn financial outlooks in response to the virus.

Coke previously forecast that 2020 organic revenue would grow by 5% and adjusted earnings per share would increase by 7% to $2.25.

Coke said it cannot estimate the blow to its business at this time, although it “could be material.” The company said that it expects to provide an update when it reports its first-quarter earnings.

In late February, the global beverage giant forecast that the virus will hit its first-quarter earnings by 1 cent to 2 cents, unit case volume by 2% to 3% and organic revenue by 1% to 2%.

Coke also said that it does not foresee any interruptions in its production at this time.

Shares of the company were trading up less than 1% when the market opened. The stock, which has a market value of $182 billion, has fallen 23% so far this year.

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