Coca-Cola Company (The) (KO) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

Coca-Cola Company (The) (NYSE:KO) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Coca-Cola’s increased marketing investments are driving volume growth in stable markets like North America. Moreover, the company is on track to deliver over $600 million in productivity in 2016.  Also, Coca-Cola’s new revenue platforms should drive growth over the long term. However, the top line needs to show sustained improvement. Though markets like North America, Japan and Western Europe remain strong, continued weakness in a number of emerging markets like Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela is denting sales. Furthermore, weak sparkling beverage volumes as well as currency and structural headwinds pose threats. Meanwhile, the company has been struggling in recent years owing to the global macro-economic headwinds and shifting consumer preferences. Shares have also underperformed the broader market in the last 6-month period.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Citigroup Inc. reissued a “buy” rating and set a $50.00 price target on shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) in a report on Monday, September 19th. Vetr downgraded shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $46.93 price target for the company. in a report on Thursday, September 15th. RBC Capital Markets set a $49.00 price target on shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, October 13th. Morningstar, Inc. reissued a “buy” rating on shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) in a report on Friday, December 9th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein set a $48.00 price target on shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, January 6th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. Coca-Cola Company (The) has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $46.12.

Analyst Recommendations for Coca-Cola Company (The) (NYSE:KO)

Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) traded down 0.110% during midday trading on Monday, hitting $40.995. 2,918,375 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a 50 day moving average of $41.36 and a 200-day moving average of $42.73. Coca-Cola Company has a 52 week low of $39.88 and a 52 week high of $47.13. The company has a market capitalization of $176.81 billion, a PE ratio of 24.861 and a beta of 0.65.

Coca-Cola Company (The) (NYSE:KO) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 26th. The company reported $0.49 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.48 by $0.01. Coca-Cola Company (The) had a net margin of 16.99% and a return on equity of 32.47%. The company earned $10.60 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $10.47 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.51 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 6.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that Coca-Cola Company will post $1.91 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, December 1st were given a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, November 29th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.41%. Coca-Cola Company (The)’s payout ratio is currently 84.85%.

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In other Coca-Cola Company (The) news, VP Kathy N. Waller sold 36,342 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $42.06, for a total transaction of $1,528,544.52. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 104,345 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,388,750.70. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Company insiders own 1.54% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in KO. Franklin Resources Inc. raised its position in shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) by 444.7% in the second quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 7,849,538 shares of the company’s stock worth $355,819,000 after buying an additional 6,408,420 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) by 2.0% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 273,897,295 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,415,764,000 after buying an additional 5,478,675 shares during the period. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company acquired a new position in shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) during the third quarter worth approximately $228,851,000. Morgan Stanley raised its position in shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) by 23.3% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 27,072,114 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,145,691,000 after buying an additional 5,116,100 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) by 40.9% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 13,411,916 shares of the company’s stock worth $607,938,000 after buying an additional 3,891,114 shares during the period. 62.73% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Coca-Cola Company (The)

The Coca-Cola Company is a beverage company. The Company owns or licenses and markets over 500 nonalcoholic beverage brands, primarily sparkling beverages but also a range of still beverages, such as waters, enhanced waters, juices and juice drinks, ready-to-drink teas and coffees, and energy and sports drinks.

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