The Coca-Cola Company (KO) proved again today that it continues to be a top tier blue-chip company that should hold a spot in everyone's portfolio. With yet another earnings beat, it showed its ability to overcome a deadbeat economy. The iconic brand, backed by Warren Buffet, has been able to continually dominate the beverage industry.
With 3,500+ different products in 200+ countries, Coca-Cola has built up a reputation and a product line that should continue to perform for many more years. This company is perfect for dividend-focused investors, as it has a wide moat, great financials, and 50 consecutive years of increased dividends.
Analysts were expecting an earnings decline this quarter to $1.18 per share. This came from concerns that weakness in foreign currency would translate to weakness in Coca-Cola's income. I expected this and the rough economy to hurt the company as well. I was even hoping the stock would drop down to another great entry point. So what happened? Again, the company was able to deliver great earnings, at $1.21 per share.
Volume and revenue were up 4% and 3%, respectively, for the quarter. Volume grew in a broad range in countries, including India (+20%). India has a population of about 1.2 billion. In 2011, the number of 8-fluid-ounce servings of Coca-Cola per capita was at a measly 12. Compare that number with the likes of Mexico (728), the U.S. (403), and Spain (287), and you can see how much potential there is in the largely untapped India market. I was hoping to see a great improvement there, and the company delivered.
Look for the company's investments and returns in countries like India to greatly expand in the coming years. Volume in European countries was soft, as expected. The Euro Zone dilemma has made it difficult for any company to produce results there. With Coca-Cola's solid performance in other healthy countries, I am not too worried about Europe's hindrances.
I believe that Coca-Cola is a good investment in any kind of portfolio. Capital gains paired with dividend growth have given investors reasons to love the company and its stock. With terrific brand recognition and the right formula for growth, I don't see this investment getting old any time soon.