Investors who owned stocks in the 2010s generally experienced some big gains. In fact, the SPDR S&P 500 (NYSE: SPY) total return for the decade was 250.5%. But there’s no question some big-name stocks did much better than others along the way.
Coca-Cola’s Difficult Decade
One of the market laggards of the decade was soda giant Coca-Cola Co (NYSE: KO).
Coca-Cola is the textbook definition of a blue chip dividend stock. Despite U.S. soda consumption recently hitting a 30-year low, Coca-Cola continues to generate cash flow for investors and consistently raise its 2.7% dividend.
The 2010s were defined by Coca-Cola fighting the downward trend in U.S. soda consumption by diversifying its product offerings. Coca-Cola has invested heavily in non-sugary diet sodas, tea, juice, bottled water, energy drinks, coffee and other healthier drinks. Key investments include the company’s $2.15 billion investment in Monster Beverage Corp (NASDAQ: MNST) in 2015 and its $3.9 billion 2018 buyout of Costa Coffee. Coca-Cola has offset declining organic sales growth via these types of acquisitions coupled with asset divestments and the refranchising of its bottling operations.
Coca-Cola issued a two-to-one stock split back in 2012, so all the prices mentioned below are on split-adjusted terms.
Incredibly, Coca-Cola shares started the 2010s trading at around $28.50. The stock dipped as low as $24.74 by mid-2010, it’s lowest point of the decade. From that point forward, Coca-Cola shares marched steadily higher throughout the rest of the 2010s with few interruptions.
2020 And Beyond
Coca-Cola reached its decade high of $57.66 earlier this month. While the stock lagges the S&P 500 during the 2010s, Coca-Cola investors still made solid returns throughout the decade thanks to the stock’s dividend.
In fact, $100 worth of Coca-Cola stock in 2010 would be worth about $275 today, assuming reinvested dividends.
Looking ahead, analysts expect Coca-Cola to continue to march higher in 2020. The average price target among the 20 analysts covering the stock is $60, suggesting just 4.1% upside from current levels.