PepsiCo profit sizzles, boosts outlook for year; shares rise

Thu Oct 9, 2014 11:09am EDT
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By Anjali Athavaley

NEW YORK (Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc (PEP.N: Quote) raised its full-year earnings forecast and said snack sales helped its quarterly profit beat expectations, sending its shares up more than 1 percent in morning trading on Thursday.

The company, which makes Frito-Lay snacks and beverage brands like Mountain Dew and Tropicana, said its quarterly performance underscored how its beverage and snacks businesses worked well together.

Still, challenges remained and in developed markets, consumer demand "continues to be sluggish and in developing and emerging markets, there is continued macro and political volatility, most notably in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and a number of markets in Latin America," Chairman and Chief Executive Indra Nooyi said on a conference call with analysts.

The activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management had recently urged the company to split its more successful snack division from its sluggish beverage business, to reduce costs and unlock value for shareholders.

PepsiCo contended its current strategy was working and that it has exceeded analysts' estimates for earnings per share for 11 quarters in a row.

Nooyi said Mountain Dew and Doritos chips were products that tended to be bought together in the United States. Internationally, PepsiCo was promoting its Lays and Pepsi brands jointly through ads and discounts, she said.

"We are pleased with our results for the quarter and year to date particularly given the continued macro challenges we see across the globe," Nooyi said on the call.

Shares were up 1.3 percent at $95.24 in late morning trading, beating its 2014 record of $94.21, after earlier rising as much as $96.21.   Continued...

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi checks products at the Tops SuperMarket in Batavia, New York, June 3, 2013.   REUTERS/Don Heupel