Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Company said ripple effects from the coronavirus outbreak are cutting into its financial expectations for the year. (DAVID BARNES / DAVID.BARNES@AJC.COM)
Photo: David Barnes
Photo: David Barnes

Coca-Cola: production not disrupted; but financial results will be

The Coca-Cola Company said it doesn’t anticipate the coronavirus will disrupt the drink production of its vast system. But the company will fall short of its previous financial expectations for the year as people avoid or are cut off from many of the places where its beverages are sold.

It doesn’t know how much financial damage will be done, according to a Friday filing Coke made with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Coke’s share price fell about 8% Friday. That was twice the rate of the stock market as a whole.

The Atlanta-based corporation, one of Georgia’s biggest publicly traded companies, wrote that it is “working closely with our bottling partners on contingency planning for continuous supply and, at this stage, we do not foresee any near-term disruptions in concentrate or beverage base production.”

But community initiatives and policies related to reducing the spread of COVID-19 have had an impact, the company said.

A drop in restaurant dining, cancellations of sports and entertainment events, reduced travel, social distancing, work-from-home policies and shifts in foreign exchange rates will all hurt Coke’s financial and operating results for the year, the company said. “We do not expect to achieve our previously provided full year guidance.”

“Due to the speed with which the COVID-19 situation is developing, there is uncertainty around its ultimate impact,” Coke wrote. The negative impact on the company “cannot be reasonably estimated at this time, but the impact could be material.”

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