Coca-Cola reports 1st-quarter results Tuesday

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co. reports first quarter earnings Tuesday before the markets open.

In the year-ago first quarter, the beverage company reported earnings of 44 cents per share. The consensus this time around, based on a survey of analysts by Zacks, is for Coke to report earnings of 45 cents a share, up 2.3 percent from the same period in 2012.

According to Forbes, the consensus estimate has declined from 47 cents a share over the past three months. Revenue is projected to fall 0.8 percent to $11.05 billion for the quarter, reflecting two fewer selling days, from $11.14 billion a year ago.

On Wall Street Monday, Coke’s stock suffered along with other Dow industrials as investors sold shares on fears that global economic growth would slow in the months ahead. Nearly 67 percent of analysts surveyed by Zacks rate Coke’s stock a “buy.”

In recent quarters, Coke and its major competitors have seen more growth in sales of non-carbonated beverages than soft drinks as increasingly health-conscious consumers opt for more juices and teas over sugary alternatives.

Volume is a clear indication of whether consumers are drinking more or less of a beverage company’s product. Coke’s volume, which reflects the number of cases of its products being sold to retailers and other customers, grew in the fourth quarter in North America, Eurasia and Africa, and Latin America, while it lagged in China, Europe and Japan.

Coke’s main competitor, PepsiCo, reports its first-quarter earnings Thursday. Analysts expect the beverage and snack foods company to report earnings of 71 cents a share, compared with 69 cents in the year-ago period.