Coca-Cola Company (The) (NYSE:KO) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Coca-Cola reported better-than-expected third-quarter 2017 results. Lower SG&A expense (down 20%), higher gross margin (up 170 basis points or bps), and higher operating margin (up 404 bps) helped it come up with better numbers. Organic revenues were up 4%, driven by 3% growth in price/mix and concentrate sales growth of 1%. However, Coca-Cola's total sales decreased 15%, marking the 10th consecutive quarterly decline in revenues. Although top line needs to show sustained improvement, we are encouraged by the company’s strategic efforts in making its portfolio as a total beverage company with improved marketing and innovation, focus on driving revenues by improved price/mix, digital focus, and productivity initiatives toward driving margins. Further, solid performance of Coke Zero Sugar globally (growing high single digit) is quite encouraging.”

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $49.00 price target on shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. Vetr upgraded Coca-Cola Company (The) from a “sell” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 12th. Royal Bank Of Canada restated a “buy” rating and set a $49.00 price objective on shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) in a research note on Wednesday, September 6th. Jefferies Group LLC restated a “hold” rating and set a $47.00 price objective on shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) in a research note on Thursday, September 7th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus restated a “hold” rating and set a $45.00 price objective on shares of Coca-Cola Company (The) in a research note on Friday, July 14th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. Coca-Cola Company (The) currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.16.

Coca-Cola Company (The) (NYSE:KO) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, October 25th. The company reported $0.50 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.49 by $0.01. Coca-Cola Company (The) had a net margin of 12.20% and a return on equity of 36.21%. The company had revenue of $9.08 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.73 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $0.49 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 14.6% on a year-over-year basis.

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In other Coca-Cola Company (The) news, insider Jennifer K. Mann sold 8,819 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.61, for a total value of $402,234.59. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 30,553 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,393,522.33. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Kathy N. Waller sold 8,952 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, August 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $45.77, for a total value of $409,733.04. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 109,508 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,012,181.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders sold 144,241 shares of company stock valued at $6,636,411. 1.51% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in KO. Blue Bell Private Wealth Management LLC lifted its position in Coca-Cola Company (The) by 6.7% in the third quarter. Blue Bell Private Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,377 shares of the company’s stock valued at $101,000 after purchasing an additional 150 shares during the last quarter. Portfolio Solutions LLC purchased a new stake in Coca-Cola Company (The) in the first quarter worth $108,000. Country Trust Bank grew its stake in Coca-Cola Company (The) by 25.0% in the second quarter. Country Trust Bank now owns 2,500 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after purchasing an additional 500 shares during the period. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. grew its stake in Coca-Cola Company (The) by 562.1% in the second quarter. Harel Insurance Investments & Financial Services Ltd. now owns 2,483 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after purchasing an additional 2,108 shares during the period. Finally, Welch Investments LLC purchased a new stake in Coca-Cola Company (The) in the fourth quarter worth $115,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 64.62% of the company’s stock.

Coca-Cola Company (The) Company Profile

The Coca-Cola Company is a beverage company. The Company owns or licenses and markets non-alcoholic beverage brands, primarily sparkling beverages and a range of still beverages, such as waters, flavored waters and enhanced waters, juices and juice drinks, ready-to-drink teas and coffees, sports drinks, dairy and energy drinks.

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Analyst Recommendations for Coca-Cola Company (The) (NYSE:KO)

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