Coca-Cola announced earnings that beat Wall Street estimates by 4%, despite taking a huge profit cut in its fourth quarter.
The company says it made $10.87 billion in Q4, down 2% year over year, but still above analysts’ expectations. Net income for the quarter was $770 million, a 55% dive from last year.
Coke says it was hit hard by foreign exchange rates, the sale of its bottling operation in Brazil, and continued problems in Venezuela. Venezuela’s currency has taken a big fall, and along with a trademark fight and problems with a bottler, led to a $247 million dollar charge.
Adding up the year, Coke reported earnings of $46 billion, down 2% from the previous year, and revenue of $7.1 billion, off 17% from 2013.
Coke, along with most of the soft drink industry, is facing a changing world where sugary, carbonated sodas aren’t part of a healthy diet. The company says it’s dealing with the changing marketplace in a couple of ways. It’s looking to cut costs by $3 billion annually while offering new drinks at a higher price point.
Company CEO Muhtar Kent says looking forward, 2015 is a “transition year,” while, "we remain resolutely focused on accelerating growth and taking advantage of opportunities to solidify our position in key markets and categories."
New products featuring the Minute Maid brand, mini-cans for those looking to limit their soda intake, and a new brand of premium-priced milk are all looked at as areas where the company expects to make big strides in 2015.