RBC Upgrades Coca-Cola's Stock, Says 'Things Have Changed'

RBC Upgrades Coca-Cola's Stock, Says 'Things Have Changed'

The case for turning bullish on Coca-Cola Co KO is simple: "things have changed," according to RBC.

The Coca-Cola Analyst: Nik Modi upgraded Coca-Cola's stock from Sector Perform to Outperform with a price target lifted from $55 to $60.

The Coca-Cola Thesis: RBC downgraded Coca-Cola's stock in January amid a surge in COVID-19 cases. But weeks later, Modi says, the health situation took a turn for the better and the pandemic "seems to have stabilized in the US" and other international markets.

Modi said expectations for a "material increase" in consumer mobility amid better weather in the coming months represent a catalyst for Coca-Cola's stock. Other factors that make the case for a return back to some form of normalcy include stay-at-home fatigue, a "fairly efficient" vaccine distribution, reduction in vaccine hesitancy, and better knowledge on how to protect against the virus.

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola's stock might look expensive relative to its mega-cap peers, but shares are trading 21.8 times earnings and this is below the stock's historical average and an 11% discount versus pre-COVID levels.

"We believe improved consumer mobility and proof points that the reorganization results in better execution will drive both earnings upside and multiple appreciation," Modi wrote.

KO Price Action: Shares of Coca-Cola were trading higher by 3.2% Monday afternoon at $52.45.

© 2021 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.

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