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Coca-Cola sees coronavirus impact in Q1; boosts dividend to $0.41 per share

Proactive Investors Friday, 21 February 2020
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is joining a lengthy list of public companies taking a hit from China’s deadly coronavirus as it expects the outbreak of this epidemic to weigh down its results in the first quarter.  China, where the virus originated in the city of Wuhan, is Coca-Cola’s third-largest market. And due to its rapid spread, the cola maker now estimates an approximate 2 to 3 point impact to unit case volume; a 1 to 2 point impact to organic revenue; and a 1 to 2 penny impact to earnings per share for the first quarter. “The situation with COVID-19 – or coronavirus – continues to evolve, and the company expects to provide more information during its next earnings call in April,” the Atlanta, Georgia-based company said in a statement. Pledges to keep up with investment plans in China Undeterred by the gravity of the situation, Coca-Cola is pledging to keep up with its plans to invest in China, a key market, for the long-term. Since it was first reported in late December in Wuhan, the virus has made its way from China to as many as 30 countries; more than 75,000 people have been infected and over 2,000 of those infected have died. In other news, Coca-Cola has reaffirmed its full-year guidance and is ratcheting up its dividend by 2.5% to $0.41 per share, which will be paid on April 1 to select shareholders.

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