Coca-Cola's profit comes in above expectations

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NEW YORK Coca-Cola Co.'s (KO) first-quarter results came in above expectations as the world's biggest beverage maker saw global sales volume grow.

The Atlanta-based company says it earned $1.75 billion, or 39 cents per share, for the period ended March 29. That's down from $2.1 billion, or 45 cents per share, a year earlier.

Not including one-time items such as restructuring charges, however, the company says it earned 46 cents per share. That's better than the 45 cents per share analysts expected.

Net revenue declined to $11.04 billion, from $11.14 billion a year ago, hurt by foreign currency exchange rates and two fewer selling days in the period. Analysts expected $10.97 billion.

The company also announced it was starting to refranchise its U.S. business by giving bottlers expanded territories.

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