Consumer Products

Coke and Pepsi Likely Not to Please Investors

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Source: courtesy of PepsiCo
If the past is any guide, when Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) reports earnings before markets open Tuesday morning, the company will reveal that it had $0.63 in earnings per share (EPS). That is the current analysts’ consensus, and Coca-Cola has hit the consensus estimate exactly in each of the past four quarters. The consensus estimate is flat with EPS a year ago.

PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) has actually bested the EPS consensus in each of the past four quarters, but the consensus estimate for the second quarter, $1.23 per share, has dropped three cents over the past 90 days, making the company’s target a bit easier to hit. Nevertheless, the consensus estimate is well below the actual EPS of $1.31 in the second quarter of last year.

PepsiCo’s stock price has risen more than 28% in the past two years, compared with a rise of about 10% at Coca-Cola, and that growth has attracted the attention of investor activist investor Nelson Peltz and his Trian Fund Management, which is agitating for the company to split its snack-food and soft drink businesses into separate companies. Peltz said last week that a proxy fight is not out of the question and that the recent rise in PepsiCo stock is the result of stockholders seeing the wisdom of his suggestions.

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Coca-Cola has also acquired a 16% stake in Keurig Green Mountain Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) earlier this year and signed an agreement to develop and market a home cold-drink dispenser. This boosted Keurig Green Mountain stock, but had little impact on Coca-Cola shares, which have risen less than 2.5% year-to-date.

PepsiCo was rumored to be interested in acquiring a stake in SodaStream International Ltd. (NASDAQ: SODA), the leading maker of home cold-drink dispensers. The company has introduced a new soda dispenser for the restaurant market called Pepsi Spire that some think could be made small enough to address the home cold-drink dispenser market. The big question here is whether there is a large-enough market for one or two more SodaStream competitors.

Sales growth has stalled in North America for both Coke and Pepsi, and both will be looking for international sales to prop up revenues and earnings. Analysts are expecting Coke to post revenues of $12.83 billion in the second quarter, up 0.7% compared with the year-ago quarter’s revenues of $12.75 billion. Pepsi is expected to post revenues of $16.79 billion compared with $16.81 billion a year ago, a drop of 0.1%. PepsiCo reports results on Wednesday.

Coca-Cola stock was down about 0.1% in mid-morning trading Monday, at $42.40 in a 52-week range of $36.83 to $42.49.

PepsiCo stock traded down about 0.3%, at $89.78 in a 52-week range of $77.01 to $91.39.

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