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    Coke's Second Quarter Earnings Drop

    Bottler blames slowing U.S. economy.

    CHICAGO -- Citing a weak North American economy, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. said it expects a mid-to-high, single-digit percentage decline in second-quarter profit, excluding one-time items, reported Reuters.

    While analysts, on average, originally anticipated earnings for the quarter to be up 5 percent, shares of the company fell 5.1 percent on Wednesday to a 14-month low, reported the news service.

    The company said as a result of higher gasoline pries, 20-ounce bottle sales at convenience stores were down. "We are taking action to meet the persistent challenges created by these weakening economic and marketplace conditions in the U.S., including initiatives to strengthen cold drink sales, increase revenue, and reduce expenses," John Brock, chairman and chief executive, said in a released statement.

    While Brock said it was unclear what impact the summer selling season will have on the market, J.P. Morgan analyst John Faucher said in a released statement that the recent addition of Glaceau beverages to the Coca-Cola distribution system may have caused some "distraction."

    Despite Coca-Cola Enterprises shares trading down $1.09 at $20.22 on the New York Stock Exchange yesterday, Coca-Cola Co said it was still confident in its outlook for the second quarter and full year, citing strength in international markets, reported Reuters.

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