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The Wall Street Journal reports this morning that Coca Cola chairman/CEO Neville Isdell is facing an eventuality he may not have planned for – the possibility that Coke could slip to second place behind PepsiCo in terms of stock market capitalization.

Since Isdell took over 18 months ago, Coke shares are down 17 percent, while Pepsi’s are up 12 percent…a stark change since a decade ago, when Coke’s market capitalization was twice that of Pepsi’s.

Some investors are patient. Some are not.

The WSJ notes that Coke is walking a tightrope, as it tries to build short-term sales as well as long-term growth, strengthen soft drink sales while pushing into other categories such as waters and energy drinks.
KC's View:
We imagine that it would be very difficult for Coke execs to swallow slippage to second place after so many years on top. Perhaps such shifts are inevitable in the long term, but that won’t make it any easier.