What Is the Difference Between Coca-Cola Stock and Coca-Cola Bottling Company Stock?

Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is the producer behind the iconic soda brand. The Atlanta-based company owns the rights to the syrup and the formulas behind every brand it holds.

Its intellectual property and brands are extremely valuable.

Coca-ColaBut keep in mind that the production and distribution around the globe is a massive operation.

It's difficult for a company to own bottling plants all around the world, operate each one profitably, market to retailers, and put those sodas on the shelves.

Coca-Cola Co. does very little of its own bottling and distribution.

Instead, it sells its syrup to independent bottling operators for licensing fees.

And one of the best-known operators is called Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated (NASDAQ: COKE).

Headquartered in North Carolina, this firm is the largest independent Coca-Cola bottler in the United States. It sells and distributes Coca-Cola products across 14 states to more than 65 million people.

The company has 13 manufacturing facilities and 80 distribution centers.

Given that both companies operate independently and have different corporate goals, they also have unique financial strategies.

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KO returns more money to its shareholders in the form of its dividend, which currently has a 3.35% yield.

Coca-Cola Bottling, however, has tighter margins and requires greater access to its own cash. COKE stock currently has a dividend yield of just 0.6%.

But as you'll soon see, looking at the entire picture shows where the real profit opportunity is...

Which Coca-Cola Is the Better Buy?

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Coca-Cola is the most popular soft drink brand in the world.

But which of these two stocks deserves your hard-earned money?

Click here to see all of our top-rated stocks, and you'll automatically get free updates on our top stocks, based on our proprietary rating system, the Money Morning Stock VQScore™.

To answer that question, we used our proprietary stock rating system to uncover the best profit opportunity.

The Money Morning Stock VQScore™.

A stock's VQScore is derived from a blended analysis of a company's underlying earnings power, its profit growth, and its earnings per share acceleration or deceleration. Then we balance the result against the recent demand for the company's shares.

Coca-Cola Bottling Company has a perfect VQScore of 4.

That puts it in the "Buy Zone."

KO stock, however, didn't reach that level.

Now, it's true that income from operations was lower in Q2 2018 than it was in Q2 2017. In Q2 of this year, operating income was $19.7 million, while it totaled $48.6 million in Q2 2017.

CEO Frank Harrison wasn't pleased, but he doesn't believe this is a cause for concern.

"We are not satisfied with these results, however we believe our system transformation work, our actions-to-date, and our ongoing strategic plans will drive improvement in operating income and operating margin performance," Harrison said in a Q2 press release.

You see, the VQScore allows investors to find stocks before they are ready to pop.

COKE makes, sells, and distributes the beverages of Coca-Cola Co. and other partner companies in more than 300 brands and flavors to over 65 million customers.

This is a distribution expert transporting the top-selling soda brand of all time.

It's easy to see why COKE hit the "Buy Zone."

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