almost 4 years ago • 2 mins
Coca-Cola and Danone reported first-quarter updates on Tuesday that suggested coronavirus-intoxicated consumer staples customers are kicking their usual shopping habits 🛒
Coca-Cola told investors back in February that coronavirus would knock maybe one or two cents off its annual earnings per share. But by March, it had withdrawn its profit forecast altogether. That was probably a wise move: half of Coke’s revenue comes from the “away from home” channels – restaurants, bars, and so on – that have been nixed by global stay-at-home orders, slashing the amount of product it’s sold so far this month by 25%.
That’s not dissimilar to Danone: the French manufacturer of Actimel and Evian grew revenue last quarter thanks to consumers’ stockpiling of essentials, but a subsequent drop-off in shopping patterns led the firm to abandon its earnings forecast too 🤷♀️
Procter & Gamble’s investors saw how swings in the value of currencies can impact earnings in its update on Friday, and Coca-Cola’s experienced it for themselves on Tuesday. The drinks company said a strong US dollar – which decreases the value of money earned abroad – lowered last quarter’s revenue by 2% and would lower this quarter’s by up to 6% more than it would’ve if currencies were stable 💵 Danone, meanwhile, got off lightly: currency swings only trimmed its revenue by 0.9% last quarter, and this one probably won’t be much different.
Coke and Danone’s share prices didn’t move much after either update, probably because there were no big surprises for investors. A company’s better off admitting it doesn’t know what’ll happen next than overpromising and underdelivering, which tends to cause its stock to fall dramatically. In fact, investors simply got what they should’ve been expecting from Danone and Coke’s “defensive” shares: they’ll likely have bought them up knowing that, even in the midst of a recession, people need to keep themselves fed and watered 🍽
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