The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) announced its results for the most recent quarter on October 16, 2012. Coca-Cola is a leading manufacturer of nonalcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups.

A business' earnings are the main determinant of its share price because earnings and the circumstances relating to them can indicate whether the business will be profitable and successful in the long run. SEE: 12 Things You Need To Know About Financial Statements

The Numbers: The Coca-Cola fell short of estimates with adjusted net income of 51 cents per share and revenues of $12.34 billion. Analysts were expecting adjusted net income of $1.02 per share and revenues of $12.98 billion. Revenue climbed 0.8% from the same period last year. The Coca-Cola's revenue has grown during each of the past four quarters on a year-over-year basis. The Coca-Cola's net income for the third quarter was $2.31 billion, a 4.1% increase from last year. Last quarter's rising profit follows a drop of 0.3% to $2.05 billion in the previous quarter.

Management Quote: Muhtar Kent, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Coca-Cola Company said, " We are pleased with our third quarter and year-to-date results. We continue to deliver consistent and solid performance, with our business growing worldwide volume by 4% in the quarter and 5% year-to-date. Importantly, we realized growth in the quarter across all five of our global geographic operating groups, despite continued volatility in the worldwide economy."

A Look Back: Margins were up in the second quarter, following a drop in the previous quarter. Gross margin grew 0.5 percentage point from the year-earlier quarter to 60.7%. In the first quarter, the figure rose 0.8 percentage point to 60.1% from the year earlier quarter.

Net income has dropped 10.3% year-over-year on average across the last five quarters. Performance was hurt by a 71.3% decline in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-earlier quarter.

Looking Ahead: Expectations for the company's next-quarter performance are more favorable than they were a month ago. The average estimate for the fourth quarter is now at 87 cents per share, up from 87 cents. When analyst increase earnings estimates investors can assume business has been stronger than first thought and is an encouraging sign for investors. Over the past 60 days, the average estimate for the fiscal year has reached $4.03 per share, a decline from $4.09.

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