PepsiCo Inc. reported a nearly 25 percent
increase in fourth quarter earnings on Monday, citing double-digit
profit growth in both its snacks and beverage businesses and an
extra week of results in the latest period.
The nation's biggest salty snacks maker and second biggest soft
drink concern earned $611 million, or 41 cents a share, in the
three months ended Dec. 30 compared with $490 million, or 33 cents
a share, a year ago.
Revenue rose to $6.4 billion from $5.7 billion a year earlier.
PepsiCo ends its fiscal year on the last Saturday in December
and that meant the latest quarter included 17 weeks compared with
16 the previous year. The extra week boosted earnings by $44
million, or 3 cents a share, on sales of $294 million.
Without the extra week, it earned $567 million, or 38 cents a
share, on sales of $6.1 billion in the latest period.
Analysts surveyed by First Call/Thomson Financial had been
looking for earnings of 38 cents a share for the quarter.
In afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange, PepsiCo
shares were down 9 cents at $44.90.
"Our strength was broadbased with solid earnings growth across
every business, domestic and international," said Roger Enrico,
chairman and chief executive.
He said the company expects "consistently healthy results"
throughout this year.
Operating profits at the Frito-Lay snacks division rose 10
percent in North America and 11 percent overseas if the extra week
is excluded in the latest quarter. The Tostitos and Lay's chip
brands led snack food volume growth in North America,
Pepsi-Cola North America's operating profit climbed 13 percent
despite investment in introducing lemon-lime Sierra Mist and a line
of Dole juice drinks. Pepsi-Cola profits overseas were flat in
contrast to a $7 million operating loss last year.
Looking ahead, Pepsi plans several new product launches
including Pepsi Lemon Twist and the Code Red flavor extension of
Mountain Dew, as well as contributions from its newly acquired SoBe
noncarbonated beverages this year.
Profits rose 16 percent at the Tropicana juice division.
For the year, PepsiCo earned $2.18 billion, or $1.48 a share,
versus $2.05 billion, or $1.37 a share, a year ago.
Revenue for the year rose to $20.44 billion from $20.37 billion