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 “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Friday. The firm presently has a $52.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 12.87% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Coca-Cola reported better-than-expected third-quarter 2017 results. Lower SG&A expense (down 20%), higher gross margin (up 170 basis points or bps), and higher operating margin (up 404 bps) helped it come up with better numbers. Organic revenues were up 4%, driven by 3% growth in price/mix and concentrate sales growth of 1%. However, Coca-Cola's total sales decreased 15%, marking the 10th consecutive quarterly decline in revenues. Although top line needs to show sustained improvement, we are encouraged by the company’s strategic efforts in making its portfolio as a total beverage company with improved marketing and innovation, focus on driving revenues by improved price/mix, digital focus, and productivity initiatives toward driving margins. Further, solid performance of Coke Zero Sugar globally (growing high single digit) is quite encouraging.”

Other research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. UBS AG raised their price objective on Coca-Cola Company (The) from $49.00 to $51.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 27th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $49.00 price objective on Coca-Cola Company (The) and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, July 11th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Royal Bank Of Canada reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) in a research note on Wednesday, August 2nd. Finally, Citigroup Inc. set a $53.00 price objective on Coca-Cola Company (The) and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 3rd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the stock. Coca-Cola Company (The) presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.16.

Shares of Coca-Cola Company (NYSE KO) traded down 0.35% on Friday, reaching $46.07. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 9,987,969 shares. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $45.91 and a 200-day moving average of $45.09. Coca-Cola Company has a 12 month low of $39.88 and a 12 month high of $46.98. The firm has a market cap of $196.29 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 44.30 and a beta of 0.70.

Coca-Cola Company (The) (NYSE:KO) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $9.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $8.73 billion. Coca-Cola Company (The) had a return on equity of 36.21% and a net margin of 12.20%. The firm’s revenue was down 14.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.49 earnings per share. On average, analysts anticipate that Coca-Cola Company will post $1.89 EPS for the current year.

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In related news, insider Jennifer K. Mann sold 8,819 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.61, for a total transaction of $402,234.59. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 30,553 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,393,522.33. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Brian John Smith sold 100,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.10, for a total transaction of $4,610,000.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 136,385 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,287,348.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 324,979 shares of company stock valued at $14,948,552 in the last three months. 1.51% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Baillie Gifford & Co. increased its position in shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) by 3.4% during the third quarter. Baillie Gifford & Co. now owns 831,888 shares of the company’s stock valued at $37,443,000 after acquiring an additional 27,318 shares in the last quarter. Conning Inc. increased its position in shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) by 1.4% during the third quarter. Conning Inc. now owns 831,298 shares of the company’s stock valued at $37,417,000 after acquiring an additional 11,078 shares in the last quarter. Bainco International Investors increased its position in shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) by 2.4% during the third quarter. Bainco International Investors now owns 125,419 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,645,000 after acquiring an additional 2,880 shares in the last quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC increased its position in shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) by 262.8% during the third quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC now owns 7,586 shares of the company’s stock valued at $341,000 after acquiring an additional 5,495 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Linscomb & Williams Inc. increased its position in shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) by 3.8% during the third quarter. Linscomb & Williams Inc. now owns 106,137 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,777,000 after acquiring an additional 3,867 shares in the last quarter. 64.68% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Coca-Cola Company (The) Company Profile

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

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