PORTLAND, Ore. --- Coca-Cola Co.'s fourth-quarter net income more than tripled on the acquisition of a bottler and stronger sales of its drinks worldwide.
The world's largest drink maker has been relying for some time on growth overseas as consumers in more developed markets limited spending and turned away from soda and toward healthier juices and teas.
The fourth quarter saw sales jump in North America, however, suggesting its domestic business might be catching up.
Coca-Cola, based in Atlanta, reported Wednesday that it earned $5.77 billion, or $2.46 per share, for the quarter. That's up from $1.54 billion, or 66 cents per share, in the same quarter last year.
Excluding a $5 billion gain tied to the buyout of Coca-Cola Enterprises' North American operations and other items, the company earned 72 cents per share compared with 66 cents last year. That met the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet.
Coca-Cola saw beverage volume worldwide climb 6 percent in the quarter and 8 percent for North America, partly because of investment in domestic brands.