A surge in the share price of Australian drinks comapny Coca-Cola Amatil surprised analysts today despite continuing a recovery that began in November. On the Australian Stock Exchange, shares in the soft drink producer lept 31 cents (5%) to close at A$6.50. The market meanwhile moved up just 0.3%. Since mid-November, coinciding with the appointment of Terry Davis as managing director, the shares have been climbing steadily, up A$1.51 or 30%. A report today by Dow Jones said: "Analyst and media coverage of C-C Amatil has turned more favorable in recent months in response to the setting of specific financial targets by Davis and an extensive program of analyst and media briefings. C-C Amatil's goals include 10%-15% earnings growth, 12%-15% earnings-a-share growth and a 1%-1.5% annual improvement in return on capital employed." However todays jump still took anlaysts and the industry by surprise. "There is nothing different - nothing has changed," said Davis today, although he noted more analysts are covering the company. "Because Amatil hasn't been a particularly loved share in the market place, maybe we are getting some retail support, but I don't know," he said. C-C Amatil, which is 35%-owned by Coca-Cola Co. (KO) of the US, has only a small retail shareholder base in Australia despite its strong retail brand. One senior broker with a large bank suggested Monday's volume of 4.7m shares was dominated by institutional activity. Other suggestions ranged from the result of strong sales during a hot Australian summer, to shifts into defensive stocks during uncertain economic times. One analyst, who declined to be named, attributed the price jump to recovering investor confidence.