I'm not supposed to like PepsiCo
That said, let's take a look at what Pepsi had in store for investors this quarter. Reported sales rose 15% on a 9% boost in servings volume, but both of those numbers are inflated by an extra week in the quarter. Strip out that extra week, and revenue grew 10% on top of a 7% volume increase -- still not bad at all.
Profitability wasn't quite so hot, though. As reported, gross margins fell a bit, and so did the operating margin. Although there are plenty of ways to calculate year-over-year operating income growth, excluding the extra week and restructuring charges (arguably the most conservative approach) leaves you with growth of about 4%. On a brighter note, I calculate that free cash flow climbed about 12% for the full year.
I find it interesting that Pepsi's namesake product really isn't the story here anymore. The North American Frito-Lay snacks business contributes more than the beverage business, and it would seem that a lot of the growth in the beverages division comes from products like Gatorade, Aquafina, and Propel.
I also like the international exposure. The PepsiCo International business accounts for more than one-third of total revenue and is delivering good growth. What's more, the company is more exposed to higher-growth areas like Latin America and less exposed to lower-growth areas like Europe.
Much as I like the business at PepsiCo, I'm not so keen on the stock. It trades above what I consider fair value; most of my regular readers know that I'm hardly eager to buy a stock trading at fair value, let alone above it. If you want to stock up on some food stocks, I would direct your attention away from the fizzy drinks and toward some of the meat and cereal purveyors, such as Tyson
Further Foolish food for thought:
Fool contributor Stephen Simpson has no financial interest in any stocks mentioned (that means he's neither long nor short the shares).