What to Look For in Coca-Cola Earnings

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is set to release its second-quarter financial results before the markets open on Wednesday. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters call for $0.60 in earnings per share (EPS) and $8.54 billion in revenue. In the same period of last year, Coca-Cola said it had EPS of $0.59 on $9.71 billion in revenue.

This stock had been considered down and out and dead money for so long that no one seemed to ever want to give its shares much recognition. It is far from a major growth stock in most investors’ minds, but its defensive stock characteristics make it a core holding for many blue chip investors.

After Coca-Cola’s most recent positive earnings report, it looks like the stock is finally starting to command more respect from Wall Street analysts. Not to mention the stock is up handily from its lows in May. Coca-Cola was a disappointment in performance in the sell-off earlier this year, after considering it was named among 15 defensive stocks that should survive just fine over time.

Overall, Coca-Cola has underperformed the broad markets, with its stock down about 2% year to date. In the past 52 weeks, the stock is more or less flat.

Prior to the release of the earnings report, a few analysts weighed in on Coca-Cola:

  • Stifel has a Neutral rating with a $49 price target.
  • Macquarie has a Neutral rating with a $47 target.
  • Jefferies has a Neutral rating and a $45 target price.
  • Morningstar has a Buy rating and a $49 price target.
  • Citigroup has a Buy rating.
  • Barclays has an Overweight rating and a $48 target.

Shares of Coca-Cola were last seen trading at $44.90, with a consensus analyst price target of $49.83 and a 52-week trading range of $41.45 to $48.62.

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