Coca Cola Company (KO) reported first quarter 2010 results with earnings of 80 cents per share, which was above the Zacks Consensus Estimate 74 cents. Earnings were up 23% year over year.

Net revenues increased 5% year over year during the quarter, due to a 6% positive impact from currency translation and 3% increase in concentrate sales, which were partially offset by a 2% impact from pricing and mix. Worldwide unit case volume increased 3% in the quarter, aided by a 5% improvement in international unit case volume and strong growth in Coca Cola, its trademark brand.

The emerging market of India grew an impressive 29%. Turkey, Eurasia and Africa also reported strong growth of 18%, 11% and 11%, respectively, during the first quarter. In addition, strong unit case volume growth was observed in other key markets including Brazil, France and the Benelux countries. However, North American volume declined 1%.

Carbonated soft drink (CSD) case volume grew 2% during the quarter, after a continued decline for more than a year. Non-carbonated beverage (NCB) volume increased 8%, led by sound growth across the portfolio, including juices and juice drinks, sports drinks, teas and water brands. In North America, NCB’s were down 2% year-over-year.

Gross profit margin expanded 236 basis points (bps) to 66.2% in the quarter versus 64.0% in the comparable prior-year period. The increase was primarily attributable to positive foreign currency fluctuations and lower commodity costs.

Cash from operations for the quarter was $1.3 billion, reflecting an increase of 52%. The company has a debt to capitalization ratio of 15%.
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