Coca-Cola Co profit falls; company expands cost-cutting

By Reuters

Oct 21, 2014 08:55 AM EDT

Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) said on Tuesday that its quarterly profit fell 14 percent as sales of carbonated beverage volumes in North America declined.

The company, whose shares fell 4 percent, also said it expected to miss its long-term earnings growth target in 2014, due in part to currency fluctuations. It forecast a 6 percentage point impact from currency on full-year operating income, which is on the high end of the outlook the company gave last quarter.

The world's largest beverage maker said net income for the third quarter ended Sept. 26 declined to $2.1 billion, or 48 cents a share, from $2.4 billion, or 54 cents a share, a year earlier.

Excluding charges for refranchising some North American bottling operations and other special items, earnings per share were 53 cents, in line with analysts' expectations.

The company said it would refranchise the majority of its company-owned North American bottling territories by the end of 2017 and a substantial portion of the remaining territories no later than 2020.

Overall revenue was flat at $11.97 billion. Analysts were expecting $12.12 billion.

Coke said it was targeting an annual savings of $3 billion per year by 2019 through an expansion of its productivity initiatives.

Shares of Coke fell 4 percent to $41.55 in premarket trading.

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