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Coca-Cola meets Q3 non-GAAP EPS expectations, raises FY'19 outlook

Coca-Cola Co. on Oct. 18 reported fiscal third-quarter earnings in line with Street expectations for its comparable, or non-GAAP, diluted EPS and increased its 2019 outlook for comparable currency neutral, non-GAAP, revenue and operating income.

The Atlanta-based beverage giant posted comparable, or non-GAAP, diluted EPS of 56 cents for the three months ended Sept. 27, a 2% drop from comparable EPS of 57 cents in the year-ago period but in line with the mean consensus of analysts' estimates for normalized EPS of 56 cents, according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. Coca-Cola's third-quarter comparable EPS included the impact from a six-point currency headwind, the company said in its earnings release.

Coca-Cola raised its fiscal 2019 guidance to include 12% to 13% growth in comparable currency neutral, non-GAAP operating income, including a low-single-digit tailwind from acquisitions, divestitures and structural items, up from the 11% to 12% forecast from the previous quarter. Currency exchange will be an 8% to 9% headwind on comparable operating income for the fiscal year based on current rates and the impact of hedged positions, an increase from the 7% to 8% range stated in the second quarter, the company said.

Coca-Cola also updated its fiscal 2019 guidance for growth in organic, non-GAAP revenue to at least 5% versus the previous year, a change from the 5% forecast in the second quarter.

For the third quarter, comparable net income attributable to shareholders dipped to $2.44 billion from $2.47 billion in the same quarter in 2018. Analysts expected Coca-Cola to report net income excluding exceptions of $2.41 billion, according to Market Intelligence.

Coca-Cola reported an 8% increase in revenue during the quarter to $9.51 billion. On an organic basis — excluding impacts of acquisitions, divestitures, structural items and foreign currency exchange — revenue grew 5%. The company reported a 6% gain from price increases and a 2% drop in concentrate sales.

Coca-Cola shares rose 1% in early trading Oct. 18 to $54.78. It reported earnings before U.S. markets opened.