Coca-Cola Proves Yet Again Why Carbonated Sugar-Water Is Still In Vogue 125 Years Later

Shares of Coca-Cola [$KO] popped 2.0% in premarket trading Wednesday, after the beverage behemoth posted a Q4 profit that exceeded expectations. Volume trends remained “resilient” in the thick of the pandy, but experienced pressure in December and into 2021 amid a resurgence in virus cases. 

Net income dipped $1.46 billion, or 34 cents a share, from $2.04 billion, or 47 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, adjusted earnings per share increased to 47 cents from 44 cents, outpacing the consensus of 42 cents. Revenue fell 5% to $8.61 billion, coming in just above the consensus of $8.60 billion.

Reported revenue fell in all geographic regions, with North America revenue down the least at a 1% dip and Latin America down the most with a 14% decline. For 2021, the company expects adjusted EPS growth in the high-single to low-double digits percentage ranges, while the current EPS consensus of $2.10 implies 7.7% growth. The stock has lost 7.9% over the past three months through Tuesday, while the Dow Jones has gained 6.6%.

Can you believe sugar-water has been sold in stores for 125 years? If we were to teleport back to 1886 in Columbus, Georgia, we would witness pharmacist John Stith Pemberton concocting the original Coca-Cola, which was initially propagated as an aid in the relief of headache, to be placed primarily on sale in drugstores as a medicinal beverage.

Pemberton continued mixing experiments and reached his goal just months later, the new product as yet unnamed nor a carbonated drink, was ready for the market and was made available for sale. Pemberton’s bookkeeper, Frank Robinson, is credited with naming the product and creating its logo. Robinson chose the name Coca-Cola because of its two main ingredients (coca leaves and kola nuts) and because it sounded like an alliteration.

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