Coca-Cola has had its share recommendation raised. Goldman Sachs said yesterday (24 May) that it has upped its fair value estimate for the drinks company's shares to US$49 from US$48. The investment bank said it continues to believe that Coke will exceed consensus earnings expectations.

Analyst Marc Cohen said: "Excepting the recent strength in the US dollar, macro-economic conditions generally remain favourable around the world, so we expect operating results to be solid outside of the already-known challenging areas of the US, Germany, the Philippines and India.

"Looking ahead," Cohen continued, "We believe there is upside potential from volume growth acceleration in the second half of 2005 as European results improve and into 2006 as Coke better leverages existing innovation across borders."

Cohen expects 2005 earnings for Coke to be US$2.14 a share. For next year, he forecasts earnings of US$2.34 a share.