Coca-Cola earnings drop despite higher North American sales

Coca-Cola said Thursday the strong US dollar again hit results in some overseas markets, leading to lower fourth-quarter earnings, although it scored higher revenues in North America.

The soft drink giant said net income for the quarter ending December 31 fell to $550 million, down 55.5 percent from the final quarter of 2015, due in part to costs associated with the sale of the company’s North American bottling operations to franchisers.

Revenues slipped to $41.9 billion, down 5.5 percent, with declines in Latin America and Europe/Middle East/Africa.

Sales in North America were a bright spot, rising eight percent.

Coca-Cola has introduced more soda products in packages smaller than the traditional 12- and 16-ounce sizes in response to health and obesity concerns.

Coca-Cola also has had success with Smartwater, a flavored water product.

Net income for the quarter translated into 37 cents per share, matching analyst expectations.

Coca-Cola forecast a one to four percent decline in 2017 earnings-per-share compared with last year.

The company’s share price fell 2.3 percent to $41.06 in pre-market trading.