Why Coca-Cola Isn't Worried About the Coronavirus Impact

Beverage giant Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO) expects the coronavirus outbreak to take a small toll on first quarter earnings. But, the company believes it will be able to offset that profit hit over the course of the remainder of 2020. Coca-Cola announced on Friday it anticipates the fallout from the epidemic to reduce unit case volume by two to three points for the quarter ending in March, reducing earnings by one to two cents per share.

Photograph of glass of cola on restaurant table

Image Source: Getty Images.

While the spread of the coronavirus has largely been limited to China, the impact on U.S. companies is still significant. Not only do many U.S.-based organizations rely on the country for supplies and labor, the country itself is an important consumer market. Consumer staples name Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) warned this week that current quarter would be "materially impacted on both the top and bottom line" due to the outbreak," noting the company uses 387 different Chinese suppliers that play a role in the production of more than 17,000 products.

But Coca-Cola rival PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP), conversely, isn't particularly worried either. While it did temporarily close all six of its facilities in China, the country only accounts for about 2% of its total revenue. That's in contrast with Coca-Cola, which collected more than 14% of its 2019 revenue from its Asia Pacific market.

Even so, the short-term impact isn't a devastating blow to the company's bottom line. Analysts were modeling per-share earnings of $0.49 for the quarter currently under way before Friday's announcement. The adjusted figure of between $0.47 and $0.48 is still palatable to investors, given how little KO shares moved following the news. For all of 2020, Coca-Cola expects to earn $2.25 per share.

10 stocks we like better than Coca-Cola
When investing geniuses David and Tom Gardner have a stock tip, it can pay to listen. After all, the newsletter they have run for over a decade, Motley Fool Stock Advisor, has tripled the market.*

David and Tom just revealed what they believe are the ten best stocks for investors to buy right now... and Coca-Cola wasn't one of them! That's right -- they think these 10 stocks are even better buys.

See the 10 stocks


*Stock Advisor returns as of December 1, 2019


James Brumley has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

In This Story


Latest Markets Videos

    The Motley Fool

    Founded in 1993 in Alexandria, VA., by brothers David and Tom Gardner, The Motley Fool is a multimedia financial-services company dedicated to building the world's greatest investment community. Reaching millions of people each month through its website, books, newspaper column, radio show, television appearances, and subscription newsletter services, The Motley Fool champions shareholder values and advocates tirelessly for the individual investor. The company's name was taken from Shakespeare, whose wise fools both instructed and amused, and could speak the truth to the king -- without getting their heads lopped off.

    Learn More