A delivery truck driver unloads soft drinks from Coca-Cola Co. on Monday, February 10, 2020 in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, United States.

Luke Sharrett | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Coca-Cola said Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic is still affecting sales, but efforts to cut costs have helped beat analysts’ earnings estimates.

The company also released its first forecast since the crisis hit its business.

The company reported, versus Wall Street’s expectations based on an analyst survey by Refinitiv:

  • Earnings per share: 47 cents, adjusted compared to 42 cents expected
  • Revenue: $ 8.6 billion versus $ 8.63 billion expected

The beverage giant reported net income of $ 1.46 billion, or 34 cents per share, in the fourth quarter, compared to $ 2.04 billion or 47 cents per share a year earlier.

Excluding restructuring costs and other items, Coke earned 47 cents per share, beating the analysts surveyed by Refinitiv, which was 42 cents per share.

Net sales declined 5% to $ 8.6 billion, falling short of expectations of $ 8.63 billion.

The unit volume, which excludes the effects of foreign currency, shrank by 3%. All four beverage segments recorded declines in volume.

In 2021, Coke expects organic sales growth in the high single digits and adjusted earnings growth in the high single digits to low double digits. The analysts’ forecast for the full year result of 10.5% was at the upper end of the range.