Coke and Ford Post Positive Financials for Q1

18 April 2003

The old adage, “What’s good for General Motors is good for America”, if true, is equally applicable to fellow US economic icons Coca-Cola Company and the Ford Motor Company, both of which reported positive first quarter results Wednesday.

Coca-Cola’s net income in the period rose to $835 million (€764.87m; £529.42m) , or 34 cents a share – a dramatic improvement on Q1 2002 when the beverage behemoth recorded a net loss of $194m (minus 8 cents a share). Excluding one-time exceptional items, the results are in line with analysts' expectations, reports Thomson First Call.

Coke’s president/chief operating officer Steven J Heyer reported that the company outperformed its rivals in the first quarter, gaining share in crucial markets including the US, Japan, France, Britain and Mexico.

Revenue increased 10% from $4.1 billion to $4.5 billion. But Heyer omitted to quantify how much market share Coke had snatched from rivals like PepsiCo.

Ford reported substantially better-than-expected results for the first quarter, attributing this to the success of its draconian cost-cutting program, and reaffirming its profit outlook for the full year.

The automaker posted earnings of $896 million (€820,80m; £568.09m), or 45 cents a share, contrasting year-on-year with a loss of $1.1 billion (minus 61 cents). The latest data bettered analysts’ average forecast of 22 cents a share and the company's own estimate of 20 cents.

Data sourced from: New York Times and The Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff