Coca-Cola says demand has been weakened by coronavirus pandemic, volume off 25% this month


An employee works on the production line of the Swire Coca-Cola Beverages Hubei Limited on March 24, 2020 in Wuhan, Hubei province, China.

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Coca-Cola on Tuesday said that the closure of movie theaters, restaurants and stadiums from the coronavirus is continuing to hurt its business, with a material impact expected on its second-quarter results.

The beverage company’s global volumes have plunged 25% since the start of April. 

“The ultimate impact on the second quarter and full year 2020 is unknown at this time, as it will depend heavily on the duration of social distancing and shelter-in-place mandates, as well as the substance and pace of macroeconomic recovery,” Coke said. “However, the impact to the second quarter will be material.”

Shares of the company rose 1.7% in premarket trading.

Here’s what the company reported:

  • Earnings per share: 51 cents, adjusted
  • Revenue: $8.60 billion 

Coke reported fiscal first-quarter net income of $2.78 billion, or 64 cents per share, up from $1.68 billion, or 39 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, Coke earned 51 cents per share.

Net sales dropped 1% to $8.60 billion. Organic revenue, which strips out the impact of foreign currency, acquisitions and divestitures, for the quarter was flat. 

Wall Street anticipated earnings per share of 44 cents on revenue of $8.28 billion, based on a survey of analysts by Refinitiv. However, it’s difficult to compare reported earnings to analyst estimates for Coke’s quarter, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit global economies and makes earnings impact difficult to assess.

The company said that its full-year financial results cannot be estimated this time, citing the uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic. The company withdrew its 2020 outlook in March. Coke previously forecast that 2020 organic revenue would grow by 5% and adjusted earnings per share would increase by 7% to $2.25.

Read the full earnings report here.

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