Coca-Cola earnings jump 79%

From Times Wire Reports

Coca-Cola Co. on Wednesday reported a 79% jump in fourth-quarter profit and maintained its growth targets despite a slowing U.S. economy.

The Atlanta-based company said it earned $1.21 billion, or 52 cents a share, for the three months ending Dec. 31, compared with a profit of $678 million, or 29 cents, a year earlier, when the company took a big impairment charge at its largest bottler.

Excluding one-time items, Coca-Cola said it earned $1.36 billion, or 58 cents a share, higher than the 55 cents a share analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting. Revenue rose 24% to $7.33 billion.

Coca-Cola shares fell 53 cents to $59.39.