Barron's sees 20 pct upside for Coca-Cola shares

NEW YORK Sun Dec 29, 2013 2:08pm EST

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NEW YORK Dec 29 (Reuters) - Shares of Coca-Cola Co could see steep upside next year, following an extended period of relative underperformance compared with major indexes, Barron's wrote on Sunday.

The beverage giant's stock is up about 12 percent in 2013, well below the 29 percent gain of the S&P 500 and the 26 percent jump of the Dow, of which Coke is a component.

"The underperformance has left a typically expensive stock looking affordable," Barron's wrote, adding that the stock could rise 20 percent or more in 2014.

The financial publication also said that Coca-Cola stands to benefit from a growing global middle class, which it estimated could result in a doubling of soft drink sales over the next 10 to 15 years.

Shares of Coke closed Friday at $40.49.

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