Who Had the More Refreshing Quarter: PepsiCo or Coca-Cola?

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Both PepsiCo and Coca-Cola recently released first-quarter earnings. Here's what you need to know about each company's results.

Earnings growth
PepsiCo reported earnings of $0.83 per share for the first quarter, up 7% from the year-ago period. The maker of Frito Lay and Gatorade is targeting adjusted full-year 2014 earnings to come in at 7%. Meanwhile, rival Coca-Cola brought in earnings of $0.44 per share for the first quarter, down 4% from the year-ago period. Analysts expect the maker of Sprite, Minute Maid, and Dasani to post full-year 2014 earnings near $2.08, which would represent no change over the company's full-year 2013 results.

Sales growth
Americans consume less soda than they did a decade ago, a growing problem for both soft drink manufacturers. PepsiCo isn't immune to the declining soda consumption trend, but it derives more than half its revenues from snacks, which make up two-thirds of the company's revenue growth. PepsiCo's snacks division buoyed first-quarter sales, as Frito-Lay North America and PepsiCo Americas Food grew 4% and 5%, respectively. Global snack food volume for the company rose 2%, while beverages were flat from a year ago. Overall organic revenue grew 4% for the quarter, but was unchanged from the year-ago period. 

Meanwhile, Coca-Cola's revenue fell 4% in the first quarter, but still beat estimates. Global sales volume rose 2% for the quarter, signaling growth for the beverage giant. The company grew its worldwide noncarbonated beverage volume by 8% in the first quarter, while its sparkling beverage volume declined 1%. In its important noncarbonated segment, the company enjoyed solid volume growth in juices, ready-to-drink teas, bottled water, sports drinks, and energy drinks.

Growth from key emerging markets
PepsiCo and Coca-Cola already derive about 50% and 80% of their respective sales internationally. But it's important to the long-term success of both companies for this percentage to grow. For the first quarter, PepsiCo's important developing and emerging market segment posted 9% organic revenue growth, aided by Brazil, Russia, Turkey, India, Egypt, and Pakistan. While Coca-Cola's consumption was flat in North America, volume grew 3% in developing and emerging markets, led by China, Brazil, India, and Russia.

Foolish takeaway
When looking at last quarter's results, PepsiCo can easily claim victory in earnings growth. Revenue growth is more of a toss-up. Pepsi gained ground with its snack foods, and Coke made progress with its noncarbonated beverage portfolio.  Both companies grew in key emerging markets. Stay tuned in coming quarters to see how these beverage giants stack up against each other.

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The article Who Had the More Refreshing Quarter: PepsiCo or Coca-Cola? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Nicole Seghetti owns shares of PepsiCo. Follow her on Twitter @NicoleSeghetti. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. The Motley Fool owns shares of PepsiCo and has the following options: long January 2016 $37 calls on Coca-Cola and short January 2016 $37 puts on Coca-Cola. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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