Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (CCE) recorded earnings per share of 58 cents a share (including results from Norway and Sweden), which topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 54 cents. Prior-year quarter earnings were 50 cents.
Results for the reported quarter include Norway and Sweden while excluding the Coca Cola Enterprises, North American operation, post divestiture. Results for the prior-year comparable quarter, however, exclude Norway and Sweden and include the North American operation.
In February, Coca-Cola Enterprise, in collaboration with the beverage giant Coca-Cola Company (KO), broached a deal, which involved the acquisition of the entire North American business of the bottler by Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola Enterprises is now a newly registered company comprising CCE’s legacy European bottling operations, and the bottling operations in Norway and Sweden acquired from The Coca-Cola Company.
During the quarter, Coca-Cola Enterprises’ sales increased 3.5% to $1,681.0 million from $1,743.0 million in the year-ago period. Including revenue from Norway and Sweden, total revenue came in at $2,030.0 million.
Gross profit for the quarter dipped 3.5% to $650 million from $674 million recorded in the year-ago quarter. Including Norway and Sweden results, gross profit came in at $759.0 million. Operating income for the quarter increased 1.3% to $676.0 million.
North American Results (Discontinued Operations)
The North American bottling business delivered a year-over-year growth in revenues of 2.0%, driven by a 2.5% growth in volumes.
Balance Sheet and Cash Flow
Coca-Cola Enterprises exited the quarter with cash and cash equivalents of $476 million, compared with $945 million in the year-ago period. Year-to-date, the company generated $620 million of cash from operations and deployed $185 million toward capital expenditure.
Fiscal 2010 Guidance
Bolstered by the better-than-expected quarterly performance, Coca-Cola Enterprises expects full-year 2010 adjusted earnings in a range of $1.74 to $1.78 per share on the back of pro forma revenue of $7.4 billion.
The company also plans to buy back approximately $1 billion of its common stock within the next 18 months. This program is expected to begin during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010.
In the long term, the company expects to achieve revenue growth of 4% to 6%, operating income expansion of 6% to 8% and a high single-digit growth in earnings per share.