All the PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP ) fans out there must have been celebrating yesterday when their bottling company reported third-quarter results. They were indeed bubbling and sparkly.
Pepsi Bottling Group (NYSE: PBG ) increased revenues by 7.8%, coming in at $3.7 billion. Diluted earnings per share fizzed 30% to $1.12. Excluding one-time benefits, per-share earnings still bubbled 15% to $0.99. Additionally, cash flow was also strong and free cash flow increased 73% from the same period last year.
While raw material costs are on the rise, the company still managed to increase the gross margin from last year, and its pricing strategies helped improve gross profit per case by 6%. Pepsi Bottling also increased its efficiency in transportation costs and scheduling and, as a result, has increased its output per employee.
From the impressive results, the company has boosted its yearly outlook and now believes it can earn between $2.15 and $2.18 per share, compared to previous expectations of between $2.02 and $2.07 per share. Furthermore, the company expects a bit more of the green in terms of cash flow than it previously thought it was capable of.
All this adds up to a nice earnings picture for Pepsi Bottling Group. As we know, Pepsi's rival Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) also has its own bottling group, Coca-Cola Bottling Co. (Nasdaq: COKE ) , although Pepsi Bottling looks more attractive with its lower P/E ratio and its more appealing gross and operating margins.
Bottom line -- I think Pepsi Bottling Group's management is doing a good job with the business, but give me a PepsiCo or a Coca-Cola over a bottler any day of the week.
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