The Coca-Cola Co. has had its coverage raised.

Late last week, analyst Bear Stearns upped its rating on the soft drinks giant to 'outperform,' citing the weakness of the dollar and potentially good results from the company's key markets.

"While we still have profound reservations about Coke's management of its franchise system and how it pursues maximisation of system profits, our near- to mid-term outlook for (Coca-Cola) the stock, is more constructive," Bear Stearns said in a note to investors.

"We see earnings upside to consensus estimates for (Coke), as the dollar continues to turn in a weak performance, and from improving results out of key markets," the analyst added. "We think (Coke) shares will be buoyed by positive earnings revisions from the Street as we move through 2006, given what we see as a more benign FX environment than generally anticipated.

"We also see positive trends in key Coke markets, including Germany, Mexico, and Brazil while trouble spots like India, the Philippines and Japan seem to have most of the bad news priced in."

Bear Stearns has a full-year price target for the stock of US$48.