Coke, Pepsi, Starbucks: The Movers and Shakers in the Beverage World Today

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Today, the Dow Jones Industrial Average looked a little more like it did in 2013 than it has in 2014. It managed to gain 126 points, or 0.79%, today outpacing the two other major U.S. indexes, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq, which only gained 0.48% and 0.08%, respectively. The move higher came after the Thompson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey results were released, and came in at 82.6, higher than the 80.6 economists were expecting. The stronger number certainly helped some of the Dow's consumer-focused stocks to move higher today. Speaking of consumer-focused companies, the beverage industry experienced some moves after big news today. Let's take a look at which companies made news and why.

Shares of Coca-Cola increased by 0.72% today after one of its European-based bottlers reported earnings. While the company reported decent results for the quarter, Coke shareholders were likely rallying behind comments that management made about an end to the consumer downturn in a few European markets. Management feels that the slowdowns in Greece and Ireland are coming to an end, and that this time next year, the worst will certainly be behind them. Additionally, although Italy and areas in central Europe are still weak, Eastern Europe, Russia, and Nigeria are seen as major growth markets for the bottler. Coke is expected to report earnings this coming Tuesday morning. To find out what to expect, click here.

Other news within the beverage industry came from Coke's closest rival Pepsi Co. . The company formally announced that it would not split its beverage business and snacks business into two companies despite a number of shareholders calling for such action. Pepsi reported weakness from the beverage business and strength from the snacks side. During the most recent quarter, the Frito-Lay side of the business increased volumes by 3%, while beverage volume declined in the mid-single-digit range. While a lot of investors wanted to see a split, management doesn't believe it's the best move and I, personally, would have to agree. In terms of distribution and scale, the two units working together helps costs remain as low as possible. Furthermore, while the beverage business may be struggling now, it could be what ultimately helps the company grow, as it's only a matter of time until Frito-Lay's products are also seen as unhealthy. 

To round out the beverage industry news today, shares of Starbucks closed higher by 0.46% after the coffee giant announced it has opened its first store in Brunei. This opening marks the company's 64th global market and is one of the 750 new stores Starbucks would like to open in the Asia-Pacific market in 2014. Currently, the company operates 18,000 locations around the world and an estimated 5,000 outside the U.S. So the ambitious plan to open 750 in the Asia-Pacific market alone would increase Starbucks' global footprint by 15%. Furthermore, each new market the company can penetrate opens the door for more locations, and helps build the company brand on a global level.

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Matt Thalman owns shares of Starbucks. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Starbucks. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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