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Pre-Market: The Coca-Cola Company Earnings Falter; Herbalife to Report Earnings Amidst Government Criticism


Shares of Coca-Cola fell after the soft-drink company announced that earnings dropped by 8% in the fourth quarter.

US stocks futures were flat after the long weekend. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) also fell in pre-market trading after a weaker-than-expected quarterly report.

Following last week's rise, Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures were up 0.06% to 16,136 before the opening bell on Tuesday. S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures ticked down 0.05% to 1,834.00. After the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) broke its all-time record from July 2000 on Friday, futures on the index sank 0.04% to 3,659.50.

Shares of Coca-Cola fell 0.9% after the soft-drink company announced that earnings dropped by 8% in the fourth quarter. Earnings per share fell to $0.38 from $0.41 a year earlier. Revenue fell 3.6% to $11.04 billion. Excluding currency fluctuations and structural changes, revenue grew 4%. Analysts had expected EPS of $0.46 on $11.04 billion.

Bloomberg reported today that Netflix, Inc's (NASDAQ:NFLX) talks with Time Warner Cable (NYSE:TWC) to keep its service on set-top boxes are on hold due to the latter's merger with Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA). Comcast directly competes with Netflix, selling film downloads. If Comcast, the largest cable provider, succeeds in swallowing up Time Warner, the second largest, its X1 set-top box platform could have more clout competing with Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) TV, TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO), and others. Netflix shares were up 0.53% this morning.

After today's close, Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), the multilevel marketer, will report earnings. Analysts expect the company, which was famously shorted and called a pyramid scheme by hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, to deliver earnings per share of $1.24 per share, up from $1.05 a year prior. Earlier this month, the company said that sales for the quarter may have risen nearly 20% in the quarter. On the earnings call, we might learn more about the government's criticism of its sales models. Recently, Senator Edward Markey of Massachusetts called on the SEC and FTC to investigate the company. The Senator's concerns echoed Ackman's.

In economic news, the New York Federal Reserve's New York metro-area manufacturing report fell to 4.5 in February from 12.5 in January. A smaller drop was expected as the region was hit with a solid month of bad winter weather.

Later this morning, the NAHB's housing market index for February is likely to stay flat at 56 points. Germany's ZEW investor confidence survey for this month fell by six points to 55.7. Economists had expected to see the index stay flat at 61.7

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
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