Statewide: Charlotte region, July 2015

 In 2015-07
Drinking up the profits

Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, the soda company’s largest independent bottler, has revved up its growth over the last year, causing its stock to sizzle after years of mostly flat performance. In May, the Charlotte-based company agreed with Atlanta-based Coca-Cola to expand its franchise territory in 10 states and Washington, D.C. Major cities that will soon get Coca-Cola products shipped by the company include Baltimore, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Richmond and Norfolk, Va. The agreement follows recent expansions in Kentucky, Tennessee and Indiana. Coke Consolidated’s first-quarter revenue jumped almost 17% to $453 million, including more than $50 million from territories acquired over the last 18 months. By 2017, its revenue could double because of the expansion, according to an in-depth report posted on the Seeking Alpha investment website. A Coke Consolidated spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. For Coca-Cola, the soft-drink giant, offloading the capital-intensive distribution businesses allows it to focus on its famous marketing. But investors think Coke Consolidated can profit with more growth potential, sending shares as high as $130 in mid-June. Shares mostly traded between $35 and $70 since 1996, finally breaking above $75 in early 2014. The company is now valued at more than $1.2 billion. Shares are thinly traded and rarely tracked by Wall Street analysts because CEO Frank Harrison III’s family controls 86% of the bottling company’s voting power, while Coca-Cola owns 5%. The 113-year-old company distributes more than 250 products and flavors, including beverages for Dr Pepper Snapple Group and Monster Energy. It has introduced its own products in recent years, such as Tum-E Yummies, a vitamin C-enhanced children’s drink. Coca-Cola Consolidated’s largest customer is Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores, making up 15% of sales, while Salisbury-based Food Lion accounts for 6%.

 



Briefs

CHARLOTTE — Cleveland, Ohio-based Bellwether Enterprise Real Estate Capital planned to acquire Capital Advisors, a privately owned, commercial mortgage-banking firm with more than $1 billion in loan volume, for an undisclosed amount. A subsidiary of Columbia, Md.-based Enterprise Community Investment, Bellwether has offices in 16 states. Founded in 1994, Capital Advisors was owned by RBC Bank from 1999 to 2009, when senior managers Cooper Willis and Shippen Browne bought the company. Based here, Capital has offices in Greensboro, Raleigh and in four other states.

CHARLOTTE — Michael Tarwater will retire as CEO of Carolinas HealthCare System in June 2016. Tarwater, 61, joined Charlotte Memorial Hospital, the Charlotte-based health care system’s predecessor, as a vice president in 1981 and became chief executive in 2002. His successor has not been named. CHS employs about 59,000 people at its hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient centers in the Carolinas.

CHARLOTTE — Bank of America was fined $205 million for unsafe practices in its foreign-exchange unit, part of $1.8 billion in penalties imposed by the Federal Reserve against six banks, including UBS, Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. The fines are among the largest ever assessed by the federal bank regulator. In a separate case, the bank agreed to pay a $30 million fine and provide remediation to about 73,000 customers to settle claims it violated consumer-protection laws for military personnel and used unsafe debt-collection practices.

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