PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP ) reported earnings before the opening bell on Thursday. Here's what you need to know about the company's results.
Solid revenue and earnings growth
The beverage and snack food giant's fourth-quarter profits came in at $1.05 per share, $0.04 more than analysts had pegged. Snack food sales increased 3% year over year, while beverages grew 1%. PepsiCo reported fourth-quarter sales of $20.12 billion and $66.4 billion for the full-year 2013, up roughly 1% from nearly $20 billion in sales for fourth-quarter 2012 and $65.5 billion for full-year 2012.
Particularly strong-performing segments Frito-Lay North America and PepsiCo Americas Foods both got a revenue boost from net pricing increases. Frito-Lay North America saw organic revenue grow 4% for both the fourth quarter and full-year 2013. PepsiCo's important developing and emerging markets posted 10% organic revenue growth for 2013, with strong growth in China in both snacks and beverages, and respectable growth in Brazil, Mexico, Turkey, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia.
Fizzling soda consumption aided by salty snack growth
Americans consume less soda than they did a decade ago, a growing problem for all soft-drink manufacturers. Yet PepsiCo's exposure to colas is less than 25% of its total North American beverage portfolio, and less than 15% of its total North American business. While PepsiCo certainly isn't immune to the declining soda consumption trend, the company derives more than half its revenue from its snack business, which makes up roughly two-thirds of the company's revenue growth.
Due to its strong snack foods business, the impact of declining carbonated soft drink sales on PepsiCo's stock has been less profound compared to its soda competitors. Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE: DPS ) recently reported a 2% decline in fourth-quarter sales volume as the company struggles to get Americans to drink more of its soda. Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) suffered a 3% revenue decline in third-quarter 2013 and will report fourth-quarter and full-year 2013 sales early next week. Although trailing the S&P 500′s 29% gain in 2013, PepsiCo's shares rose 23%, beating both Coke's 13% and Dr Pepper Snapple's 10% advances.
The future of PepsiCo's beverage business
Last year, activist investor Nelson Peltz called for PepsiCo to spin off its beverage business, concentrate on its salty snacks, and buy cookie and candy giant Mondelez International. At that time, CEO Indra Nooyi rejected Peltz's idea, but hadn't dismissed the notion of restructuring PepsiCo's North American beverage business. Today, PepsiCo announced it would retain its North American beverage business in its current structure. The company also stated that it would extend its $1 billion annual productivity savings target through 2019.
The beverage and salty snack giant boasts plenty of attractive long-term growth opportunities. For the patient investor, PepsiCo still holds a great deal of promise.
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