Coke Fades on Guidance

The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) saw its shares go down first thing Friday, on re-affirming its full-year guidance in connection with the presentation, along with sharing the expected impact from COVID-19 on first-quarter 2020 results.

The Atlanta-based soft drink giant currently estimates an approximate two- to three-point impact to unit case volume, one- to two-point impact to organic revenue and one- to two-penny impact to earnings per share for the first quarter. Based on its latest forecasts, the company still expects to achieve its previously provided full-year guidance.

These updates are based on current estimates. The situation with COVID-19 – or coronavirus – continues to evolve, and the company expects to provide more information during its next earnings call in April.
The company’s deepest sympathies go out to those who have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak.

The company is carefully following all government guidelines and taking precautionary steps to do what it can to prevent the further spread of the virus. The company is also donating to organizations that are working diligently to support patients and contain the virus.

The safety and health of the company’s associates remains a high priority. The company has implemented precautionary measures to protect employees in China, which includes providing face masks and hand sanitizers; installing temperature screening in offices and manufacturing facilities; and setting up health monitoring mechanisms across the Coca-Cola system in China.

The company acknowledges China as the third-largest market in the world for KO in terms of unit case volume. The company sees great opportunities in this important market and will continue to invest for long-term growth.

KO opened Friday down 18 cents to $59.54