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Hello all,

Tough times for our beverage Rule Maker. Even so, in tonight's segment of the Tom Gardner investment seminar, he pointed to Coke's gross margins over the past three years:

1998 1997 1996
Coke 70.2% 68.3% 64.2%

Big Red's climbing gross margins hadn't totally escaped my notice, but I certainly hadn't given it much thought. Until now. Coke has substantially reduced the material input costs of its products. That's a mighty achievement. I'm wondering...

- Will/can this trend continue?

- Will these improvements eventually allow equal expansion of net margins?

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