PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) reported earnings before the opening bell on Thursday. Here's what you need to know about the company's results.

Solid earnings growth
The beverage and snack-food giant's first-quarter profits came in at $0.83 per share, $0.08 more than analysts had pegged. Global snack-food volume rose 2% while beverages were flat from a year ago. PepsiCo's first-quarter sales of $12.6 billion were unchanged from the year-ago quarter, but better than analysts' expected $12.4 billion. Shares of the salty-snack and beverage maker were up slightly in midday trading.

Fizzling soda consumption helped by salty-snack growth
Americans consume less soda than they did a decade ago, a growing problem for all soft-drink manufacturers. PepsiCo isn't immune to the declining soda consumption trend, but it derives more than half its revenues from its snack business, which makes up two-thirds of the company's revenue growth.

Particularly strong-performing segments for the first quarter included Frito-Lay North America and PepsiCo Americas Food, which saw organic revenues grow 4% and 5%, respectively. PepsiCo's important developing and emerging markets posted 9% organic revenue growth, with strong growth in Brazil, Russia, Turkey, India, Egypt, and Pakistan.  

Looking ahead
For full-year 2014, the maker of Gatorade, Tropicana, and Quaker Oats expects productivity savings of roughly $1 billion. PepsiCo said it would return $8.7 billion to shareholders in 2014 through $5 billion in share repurchases and $3.7 billion in dividends. Its stock currently pays a dividend yield of 2.7%. 

Foolish takeaway
Today's earnings release shows that PepsiCo's beverage and salty-snack businesses boast plenty of attractive long-term growth opportunities. For the patient investor, PepsiCo still holds a great deal of promise.

Nicole Seghetti owns shares of PepsiCo. Follow her on Twitter @NicoleSeghetti. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of PepsiCo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.