Pepsi Bubbles Along (PEP, KO, CCE, COKE, CCH, KOF)

Soft drink and snack food giant Pepsico Inc. (NYSE: PEP) reported first quarter earnings this morning that topped expectations. Adjusted EPS came in at $0.69 versus a consensus estimate of $0.67 and revenue rose 4.1% from the same period a year ago to $12.43 billion, slightly above the consensus estimate of $12.36 billion.

Unlike competitor The Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), Pepsi has recalled its bottling companies to the mother ship. Coke maintains control of a number of bottling companies, including four that are traded in the US: Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: CCE), Coca-Cola Bottling Co. (NASDAQ: COKE), Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co. (NYSE: CCH), and Coca-Cola FEMSA S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE: KOF). Pepsi incurred charges of $2 million in the quarter related to its re-integration of its bottling companies.

Pepsi’s sales in its Latin American foods division grew 11% year-over-year, and operating profit gained 10% in the division. That offset declines in operating profit in the company’s Americas beverages division.

The company’s CEO had this to say about where the company’s focus would be for the rest of this year:

Our top priorities include stepping up our brand support through increased advertising and marketing, accelerating our innovation, and driving an aggressive productivity agenda that includes a significant restructuring program.

For the full year, Pepsi reiterated guidance of a -5% decline in adjusted EPS from last year’s EPS of $4.40. The company expects an unfavorable currency impact of another -2%. The consensus estimate is $4.09, exactly in line with Pepsi’s guidance. The company also plans to repurchase $3 billion in common stock this year and to pay $3.3 billion in dividends.

Shares of Pepsico are up 0.34% in pre-market trading, at $66.90 in a 52-weeki range of $58.50-$71.89.

Paul Ausick