The Coca-Cola (KO) Cut to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of The Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Coca-Cola surpassed the industry in the past six months driven by a solid surprise trend, which continued in third-quarter 2018. It delivered better-than-expected earnings and sales in the third quarter, marking the sixth straight quarter of earnings beat and fifth consecutive sales beat. Further, it has been gaining from the ongoing productivity efforts and disciplined growth strategies. The company’s strategy of introducing new products, alongside focus on lifting and shifting successful brands globally is aiding performance. It is also benefiting from the acceleration of sparkling soft drinks category through investment and innovation. However, reported revenues and operating margins were hurt by new accounting standards and currency headwinds. Going forward, the company expects unfavorable currency to hurt revenues and operating margin in the fourth quarter and full-year.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on KO. Jefferies Financial Group reiterated a neutral rating and set a $48.00 price objective on shares of The Coca-Cola in a research note on Wednesday, October 17th. Macquarie reiterated a neutral rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of The Coca-Cola in a research note on Thursday, October 4th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of The Coca-Cola from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Morningstar set a $49.00 price objective on shares of The Coca-Cola and gave the stock a neutral rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 6th. Finally, HSBC reiterated a buy rating and set a $64.00 price objective on shares of The Coca-Cola in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. Fourteen equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $51.64.

NYSE:KO opened at $47.34 on Thursday. The Coca-Cola has a 12 month low of $41.45 and a 12 month high of $50.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.26, a current ratio of 1.06 and a quick ratio of 0.98. The firm has a market cap of $198.66 billion, a PE ratio of 24.79, a P/E/G ratio of 2.85 and a beta of 0.62.

The Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, October 30th. The company reported $0.58 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by $0.03. The Coca-Cola had a net margin of 8.70% and a return on equity of 43.12%. The business had revenue of $8.25 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.20 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.50 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 9.2% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts predict that The Coca-Cola will post 2.08 EPS for the current year.

In other The Coca-Cola news, insider James L. Dinkins sold 9,150 shares of The Coca-Cola stock in a transaction on Monday, November 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.95, for a total value of $457,042.50. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 30,400 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,518,480. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Jennifer K. Mann sold 15,100 shares of The Coca-Cola stock in a transaction on Monday, November 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.40, for a total transaction of $761,040.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 40,058 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,018,923.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 374,542 shares of company stock valued at $18,436,957 over the last 90 days. 1.48% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its holdings in The Coca-Cola by 1.4% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 289,055,893 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,351,492,000 after buying an additional 3,918,108 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc increased its holdings in The Coca-Cola by 1.4% in the third quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 289,055,893 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,351,492,000 after buying an additional 3,918,108 shares in the last quarter. Capital International Investors increased its holdings in The Coca-Cola by 81.9% in the third quarter. Capital International Investors now owns 63,196,570 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,919,050,000 after buying an additional 28,445,747 shares in the last quarter. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of The Coca-Cola by 2.3% during the third quarter. FMR LLC now owns 50,012,668 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,310,085,000 after purchasing an additional 1,116,190 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased its stake in shares of The Coca-Cola by 3.6% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 38,959,393 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,708,760,000 after purchasing an additional 1,336,852 shares in the last quarter. 65.53% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

About The Coca-Cola

The Coca-Cola Company, a beverage company, manufactures and distributes various nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. The company provides water, enhanced water, and sports drinks; juices; juice, dairy, and plant–based beverages; teas and coffees; and energy drinks. It also offers concentrates, syrups, beverage bases, source waters, and powders/minerals, as well as fountain syrups to fountain retailers, such as restaurants and convenience stores.

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