The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) has gained 14 points in pre-market trading, suggesting a modestly positive start to the stock market today. But investors can expect plenty of profit-fueled volatility as earnings season is now in full swing. Corporate earnings announcements continue to flood in this morning, with PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP ) and General Electric (NYSE: GE ) both booking quarterly results before the opening bell.
PepsiCo's stock was up 2.3% in pre-market trading after the food and drink giant beat analysts' estimates on both the top and bottom lines. Earnings came in at $0.79 a share, ahead of the $0.75 that most of Wall Street was looking for. Revenue of $12.6 billion was flat compared to last year, but also easily beat the consensus estimate of just $12.4 billion in sales. Pepsi's broader portfolio showed its strength in the quarter: the company saw a healthy 4% improvement in organic revenue, split between its global snacks business growing by 5% and its beverages kicking in an extra 3%. Drink sales were held back again by weak performance in the sparkling soda business: volume dropped by 1% in the U.S., Pepsi said. The company also affirmed its outlook for a 7% annual profit boost in 2014. It also aims to return almost $9 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases throughout the year.
GE this morning posted a 9% drop in per-share earnings to $0.33. However, after adjusting for the one-time impact from the sale of NBCUniversal last year, the conglomerate's earnings were actually up 9%. Quarterly revenue dipped slightly, to $34.2 billion. Both those top and bottom lines came in at roughly what Wall Street expected. The conglomerate logged some important wins in the quarter, including an uptick in profitability and total cash generation of $1.7 billion, 70% of which came from its industrial businesses. CEO Jeff Immelt said in a statement accompanying the results that GE was "in good shape," and that business in its markets is generally improving -- as he put it, the environment has a "positive bias." The stock was up 2.2% in pre-market trading.
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