May. 28, 2014, 8:28 AM
- Politicians in Illinois voted down a proposal to add a penny-per-pound tax on sugar-enhanced drinks.
- The tax would have added $2.88 to the cost of a case of soda.
- Under the radar: The soda industry has received some backing from the Teamsters union in the national debate on the issue of taxing soda consumption.
- Related stocks: KO, PEP, MNST, DPS.
May. 22, 2014, 7:42 AM
- The obesity rate in the U.S. has increased to 27.7% to mark the highest level since Gallup starting tracking height and weight in 2008.
- The link between obesity and high healthcare costs has teed up the development as a political issue.
- The group which takes the brunt of the criticism over obesity is the soft drink industry (KO, PEP, DPS, COT, MNST).
May. 20, 2014, 7:15 PM
- The U.S. regulator approves advantame, the sixth sugar substitute to get the agency's blessing. It can used as a tabletop sweetener or as an ingredient in cooking by virtue of its stability at high temperatures.
- The approval was based on the results of 37 animal and human studies submitted by the manufacturer.
- Advantame is chemically similar to aspartame (Equal). People with the genetic disorder phenylketonuria have difficulty metabolizing phenylalanine, a component of both aspartame and advantame. Food containing aspartame must be labeled as such. The amount of advantame needed to achieve a similar level of sweetness as aspartame is much less so no special labeling will be required.
- The last sweetener cleared by the FDA was neotame (Newtame) in 2002.
- Just a few related tickers: (PG) (PEP) (KO) (GIS) (K)
May. 19, 2014, 7:49 AM| Comment!
May. 13, 2014, 3:59 PM
- Today’s news that Coca-Cola (KO +0.6%) has increased its equity position in Keurig Green Mountain (GMCR +7.5%) to 16% from the original 10% purchase leads Canaccord analysts to believe that KO favorably views GMCR's positioning and growth opportunity in coffee, and has confidence in the upcoming Keurig Cold launch.
- Regardless of the timing of adding to its stake, Canaccord says the move illustrates the value in single-serve and with Coke as a 16% holder, "the strongest potential partner in cold beverages is fully engaged" with a significant material interest in the upcoming Keurig Cold launch, and the stake also could boost GMCR's valuation reflecting the addition of a premium over the speculation of a future take-out by KO.
May. 13, 2014, 7:29 AM| 8 Comments
May. 8, 2014, 11:54 AM| Comment!
May. 6, 2014, 11:05 AM
May. 3, 2014, 7:51 PM
- He didn't want to "go to war" with management, says Warren Buffett, responding to the first question asked of him at the Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, BRK.B) annual meeting: Why did he abstain from voting on the controversial equity compensation plan for Coca-Cola (KO) executives?
- "You keep belching at the dinner table, you'll be eating in the kitchen," says Buffett, describing the clubby culture of corporate boards where being agreeable keeps you on the inside and being confrontational gets you blackballed. "I've voted for compensation plans in various places that are far from what I would have designed myself ... That is the way boards work."
- A shareholder proposal requesting Berkshire board consideration of a dividend received less than 2% of the vote, pleasing to Buffett who believes he and Charlie Munger can do a better job of allocating company capital than returning it to shareholders. Still, with $40B and rising in Berkshire's coffers, even Buffett concedes the day is coming when the company has "more cash than we can intelligently invest."
- "That error that they made doesn't bother me," says Buffett of Bank of America (BAC), which had to suspend its capital return plan after miscalculating capital levels. "It doesn't change my feeling about Bank of America's risk management one iota."
- Mungerisms: Comparing Berkshire book value to the S&P 500 is "insane" and makes it harder for Buffett to look good. "Warren sets a ridiculously high standard. The last couple of years added $60B in value ... If that's failure, then I want more of it."
May. 2, 2014, 6:53 AM
- Warren Buffett tells CNBC that he wouldn't be surprised if Coca-Cola (KO) revises its controversial equity plan that was approved recently by shareholders.
- The rhetoric from Buffett is a slight shift from the neutral position he took on the position previously to the disappointment of some activist investors.
- CNBC video
Apr. 29, 2014, 11:33 AM
- Nomura Securities thinks Coca-Cola (KO -0.7%) will benefit from the strategic initiatives that management is likely to push forward.
- A partnership with Keurig Green Mountain is at the top of the list.
- Shares are rated Buy at the Japanese investment firm with a price target of $53.50.
- Critics of Coca-Cola point to the under-performance of the stock over the last year compared to the Consumer Staples ETF (-3.37% vs. +7.8%) and are still barking over the lush executive compensation plan that waspassed by shareholders.
- The sharpest cut might be from Institutional Investor columnist Vitaly Katsenelson. He says shareholders shouldn't have to fork over 14%-16% over four years to incent management to run a company a monkey could run (Warren Buffett's description of running KO).
Apr. 24, 2014, 1:58 PM
Apr. 23, 2014, 3:52 PM
- Shareholders at Coca-Cola (KO) approved an executive compensation plan that has drawn a fair share of criticism.
- The plan was approved by 83% of the vote despite the efforts of Wintergreen Advisers to highlight the potential dilution of equity it will bring to shareholders.
- Warren Buffett agreed that the plan was excessive, but told CNBC he didn't want to show disapproval of management by voting against it with his formidable block of 400M shares.
Apr. 22, 2014, 9:20 AM
- Attorneys with Coca-Cola (KO) were grilled by U.S. Supreme Court justices yesterday on the issue if the beverage company's labels for Minute Maid juice drinks are misleading.
- The focus of the case is on if Coca-Cola can be sued by POM under the Lanham Act, but questions steered into other issues.
- Though the company maintains it's fully compliant with FDA regulations, the justices were focused on the different topic of consumer perception.
- Justice Anthony Kennedy: "I think it’s relevant for us to ask whether people are cheated in buying this product."
Apr. 17, 2014, 7:59 AM
- Retail analysts note that the broad sales gains PepsiCo (PEP) made in Q1 driven by its snacks business makes the beverage focus at Coca-Cola (KO) look that much more uninspiring.
- The Frito-Lay North America division at PepsiCo was able to grow organic revenue by 4% during Q1 and even take a percentage point of net pricing gain amid a tough retail pricing atmosphere.
- Premarket: KO -0.2%, PEP +2.4%
Apr. 15, 2014, 7:52 AM
- Coca-Cola (KO) reports volume growth of 2% in Q1, led by growth in developing and emerging markets. Sales in China and Brazil accelerated after Coca-Cola increased its marketing spend.
- The company saw flat volume growth in North America.
- KO +1.6% premarket as the volume numbers exceeded some of the more negative forecasts from analysts.
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