PepsiCo, Inc.: An Earnings Preview

PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP  ) will report earnings on Wednesday, July 23. Here's what you need to watch for in the company's results.

Earnings expectations
The first issue that needs to be addressed is whether the beverage and snack food giant met Wall Street's expectations. Analysts peg profits for PepsiCo at $1.23 per share this quarter. PepsiCo booked earnings per share of $1.31 in the same quarter last year, so the company is expecting deterioration in profit growth. PepsiCo reported $16.8 billion in sales for the second-quarter of last year and $66.4 billion for the full-year 2013.

Revenue growth
Domestic carbonated soft drink sales have stalled out in the past decade. As a result, PepsiCo has suffered from sluggish soda sales. Carbonated beverage volumes were down 1% for the New York-based company during the first quarter.

Yet PepsiCo's Q1 2014 organic revenues grew 4%. That's because the company derives more than half its revenues from its snack business, which  makes up two-thirds of the company's revenue growth. Better yet, the salty-snack powerhouse holds nearly 37% of the U.S. savory snack market . Its PepsiCo Americas Food and Frito-Lay North America divisions saw organic revenues grow 5% and 4%, respectively, during the first quarter. PepsiCo has also enjoyed strong international snack growth, with the company posting 9% organic revenue growth in its Latin American Foods division and strong snack volume growth in Asia, Middle East, and Africa.

Profitability-boosting efforts
For the first several years after PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi took the helm, investors were frustrated with the company's sluggish stock performance. But that's recently changed. Nooyi's top priorities since 2012 have included reinvesting in core brands, trimming costs, and increasing profitability. The company served up roughly $1 billion of annual productivity savings in both 2012 and 2013. During those two years, PepsiCo's share price increased 25%, outpacing rival Cola-Cola's stock performance and further endorsing Nooyi's efforts. The maker of Quaker Oats, Doritos, Naked Juice, and Gatorade is on track to deliver a targeted $1 billion of productivity savings this year. The company also expects to return $8.7 billion to shareholders in 2014, comprised of approximately $5.0 billion in share repurchases and $3.7 billion in dividends. PepsiCo's stock currently pays a dividend yield of 2.9%. 

Foolish takeaway
When PepsiCo releases its second-quarter results on Wednesday, I'll be watching to see if and how the company achieved earnings and sales growth in both its beverage and salty-snack businesses. I'll also be looking for any updates on PepsiCo's continued profitability-boosting efforts.

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