PepsiCo (PEP) announced third quarter earnings of $1.40 a share, well above analyst estimates for earnings of $1.32. (That’s year over year earnings growth of 4%.)Revenue of $16 billion was down 1.9% year over year–although it would have been up 4.2% except for currency effects–but that still beat analyst projections for $15.8 billion in revenue.
The company raised its full-year 2016 earnings guidance to $4.78 from $4.71 a share. Productivity savings of about $1 billion will help produce that earnings growth.
Strangely enough for a company identified with cola and salty snacks, this quarter was driven by “healthier” products such as Sabra hummus, Naked cold-press juices, and Lipton Pure Leave tea. (At the very end of August PepsicCo even started marketing version of Gatorade certified organic by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The organic version sells for 50 cents more per 16.9-oounce bottle than tradition artificially colored and flavored Gatorade Thirst Quencher.
As crazy as the idea of organic Gatorade might be, as an investor I’m happy to see the company aggressively responding to changes in its markets with now products. For example, Gatorade, which owns 70% of the sports drink market, has been facing heightened competition from more “natural” drinks such as coconut water.
Shares of Pepsico closed up just 0.35% today to $107.76. That’s a reasonable response since the stock is already up 7.85% for 2016 to date and by 19.18% over the last 12-months. With a dividend yield of 2.77%, this remains a good low-risk position in the consumer sector. Pepsico is an original member of my long-term 50 Stocks portfolio. The shares are up 147% since I added them to this portfolio in December 2008.