I'll definitely give PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) its due -- as I did previously -- even though I own shares of its nemesis, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO). The beverage star increased revenues by 9% in yesterday's first-quarter earnings, taking in close to $7.4 billion. Net income jumped 16% to $0.65 per diluted share, from $0.56 per diluted share in the year-ago period.

Those are pretty good growth rates for a big business like PepsiCo, especially considering that traditional sodas are having a tough time growing sales. Nowadays, many consumers prefer healthier options like juices and waters. PepsiCo, like Coke, has those segments covered with abundant choices in its broad beverage portfolio. Carbonated products saw a 3% volume decline, but water and tea offerings enjoyed double-digit increases in sales volume.

PepsiCo's major advantage over Coke is its very useful salty-snack asset. Frito-Lay offers an additional avenue of growth for the company. It's a huge brand in the supermarket chip aisle -- as a consumer, you can't help but be drawn to its large selection of tasty names, including Doritos and Lay's. Quaker Foods also provides exposure to the foodstuffs market.

Quarterly cash flow benefited from much lower tax obligations. The company generated $626 million in operational cash this quarter, versus $173 million last year. Capital spending dipped $22 million, coming in at $267 million, leaving abundant free cash at the company's disposal.

PepsiCo had a good quarter overall. Like Coke, it needs to work on growing its core carbonated line. It's an effective competitor against Cadbury-Schweppes (NYSE:CSG) and private-label brands, and it expects to bring in more than $7 billion in operational cash flow, while keeping net capital spending at around $2.6 billion. I may be rooting for the other guys in this case, but I do like blue-chip cash machines in general.  

Over time, PepsiCo should benefit any Fool's long-term portfolio. It's currently yielding 1.8%, which isn't as good as Coke's current yield of 2.6%. If you're interested in the stock, and you can get it at a higher yield, all the better. You'll be buying a global beverage and snack-food company that will drive returns by leveraging some very valuable brands. As for biased old me, I'll steer you toward Coke. The decision, of course, is up to you.

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Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value recommendation. Philip Durell is a cheapskate. We mean that in a good way -- he finds companies trading at prices below their true value. Check out his current scorecard by trying Motley Fool Inside Value for free.

Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns shares of Coca-Cola. As of this writing, he was ranked 16,228 out of 27,896 investors in the CAPS system. Don't know what CAPS is? Check it out. The Fool has a disclosure policy.