Coca-Cola’s results miss Wall Street expectations

Coca-Cola Co.’s first-quarter net income climbed 18 percent as global sales of its sodas and juices grew.

The company’s results, however, narrowly missed Wall Street’s expectations as it coped with effects of Japan’s earthquake, marketing expenses tied to its acquisition of a bottler and other unusual items. Coca-Cola’s stock price fell Tuesday on the news.

The world’s largest drink maker’s net income rose to $1.9 billion, or 82 cents per share, for the quarter. That’s up from $1.61 billion, or 69 cents per share, a year ago. Adjusted for one-time items in the most recent period, the company earned 86 cents per share.

Coca-Cola’s revenue increased 40 percent to $10.52 billion, largely because of its acquisition of Coca-Cola Enterprise Inc.’s North American bottling operations.

Hershey’s revenue benefits from later-than-usual Easter

The Hershey Co. said Tuesday that sales of two new products — Hershey’s Drops and Reese’s Minis — and rising overall revenue in China, Brazil and Mexico helped its first-quarter revenue rise 11 percent and its net income climb nearly 9 percent.

Also contributing to the revenue boost, Hershey said, were two short-term factors: Easter fell later than usual this year, which pushed sales that would usually come in the fourth quarter into the first. Also, some retailers stocked up on Hershey products before price increases announced in March started taking effect.

Hershey said its revenue will grow slower the rest of the year, but it expects a pace near the top of the range of 3 percent to 5 percent it forecast in February.

Amazon.com net income falls amid competition

Amazon.com said Tuesday that its net income fell 33 percent in the latest quarter, a steeper drop than Wall Street expected as the online retailer battles stronger competition from Walmart and other rivals.

The numbers reflect the competitive challenges for the world’s biggest online retailer and the impact of higher costs of expansion. While Amazon’s earnings fell short of investors’ expectations, the Seattle-based company’s overall revenue was stronger than expected in the first quarter, as was its revenue forecast for the second quarter.

Net income of $201 million, or 44 cents per share, was down from $299 million, or 66 cents, a year ago, and short of the 61 cents that analysts polled by FactSet expected.

UPS ups full-year forecast after healthy first quarter

UPS expects the pace of the economic recovery to moderate because of risks like high oil prices, but remains confident it can grow earnings significantly from a year ago.

The world’s largest package delivery company on Tuesday raised its full-year earnings forecast after first-quarter net income rose 66 percent. Shipping demand increased and customers paid more to move packages faster in the year’s first three months.

United Parcel Service Inc. now expects to earn $4.15 to $4.40 per share this year, implying growth of 17 to 24 percent from 2010. Its previous estimate was $4.12 to $4.35 per share.

Delta will raise fares, cut flights, sideline airplanes

A $318 million quarterly loss driven by a sharply higher fuel bill is spurring Delta Air Lines to raise fares, cut flying and park airplanes.

Airlines have already raised fares this year, and Delta said higher fares covered 70 percent of the run-up in fuel costs. That’s not enough.

Delta said it will cut flights that don’t produce enough revenue. Some of those reductions are likely to be flights across the Atlantic, where Delta said the industry has added too many available seats.

All told, Delta now plans to sideline 140 planes over the next year and a half, from its smallest propeller-driven regional planes to big international jets.

Delta’s fuel bill rose 29 percent, or $483 million, in the first quarter compared to a year earlier. Higher ticket prices boosted revenue 13 percent, to $7.75 billion.

US Airways reducing flying to cut costs, keep planes full

US Airways said Tuesday that its first-quarter loss more than doubled to $114 million as fuel prices rose sharply. The airline will reduce flying in the second half of the year to cut costs and keep its planes full.

Fuel costs jumped by $272 million, up almost 39 percent from a year earlier.

US Airways is the only U.S. airline that does not hedge against fuel price spikes. It said its fuel bill for the year was on track to be $1.45 billion more than last year.

The airline has been raising fares to cover higher fuel prices. The demand is there — traffic rose 4 percent from the same period last year. Those two things helped push revenue up 11.7 percent to $2.96 billion.