ATLANTA, July 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — The Board of Directors of The Coca-Cola Company today authorized a new share repurchase program of up to 300 million shares of the Company’s common stock — representing nearly 13 percent of total outstanding shares.
The program will take effect October 31, upon the conclusion of the Company’s current plan. The Board’s authorization of the share repurchase program builds on the Company’s 22-year history of ongoing share repurchases.
Since 1997, the Company has returned more than $28 billion to shareowners through approximately $10 billion in share repurchases and $18.7 billion in dividends.
“Our new share repurchase program reflects the Board’s continued confidence in the Company’s future performance and our long-term cash flow generation,” said Neville Isdell, chairman and chief executive officer. “This new plan, combined with 44 years of consecutive annual dividend increases, underscores our continued commitment to delivering increased value to shareowners.”
Separately, the Board of Directors today declared a regular quarterly dividend of 31 cents per common share. The dividend is payable October 1, 2006, to shareowners of record as of September 15, 2006.
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world’s most valuable brand, the Company markets four of the world’s top five soft drink brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta and Sprite, and a wide range of other beverages, including diet and light soft drinks, waters, juices and juice drinks, teas, coffees and sports drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company’s beverages at a rate exceeding 1.3 billion servings each day. For more information about The Coca-Cola Company, please visit our website at http://www.thecoca-colacompany.com/ .
This press release may contain statements, estimates or projections that constitute “forward-looking statements” as defined under U.S. federal securities laws. Generally, the words “believe,” “expect,” “intend,” “estimate,” “anticipate,” “project,” “will” and similar expressions identify forward-looking statements, which generally are not historical in nature. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from The Coca-Cola Company’s historical experience and our present expectations or projections. These risks include, but are not limited to, obesity concerns; the availability and quality of water; changes in the nonalcoholic beverages business environment, including actions of competitors and changes in consumer preferences, including changes based on health and nutrition considerations and obesity concerns; increased competition; our ability to enter or expand our operations in emerging markets; foreign currency and interest rate fluctuations and other capital and financial market conditions; our ability to effectively align ourselves with our bottling system, including maintaining good relationships with our bottlers; the financial condition of our bottlers; our ability to maintain good labor relations, including our ability to renew collective bargaining agreements on satisfactory terms and avoid strikes or work stoppages, which could lead to production output disruptions; fluctuations in cost and shortages of raw materials, including the cost of energy; adoption of or changes to laws relating to beverage containers and packaging, including mandatory deposit, recycling, eco-tax and/or product stewardship laws or regulations; adoption of significant additional labeling or warning requirements; changes in economic and political conditions in international markets, including civil unrest and product boycotts; changes in commercial or market practices and business model within the European Union; litigation uncertainties; adverse weather conditions; our ability to maintain brand image and product quality as well as other product issues such as product recalls; regulatory and legal changes; our ability to achieve overall long term goals; and other risks discussed in our Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), including our Annual Report on Form 10-K, which filings are available from the SEC. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. The Coca-Cola Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements.
CONTACT: Ben Deutsch of The Coca-Cola Company, +1-404-676-2683