PepsiCo Not as Good as it Looks

PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) reported fiscal third-quarter results before markets opened this morning. The food and beverage company posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.21 on revenues of $16.65 billion. In the same period a year ago, the company reported EPS of $1.25 on revenues of $17.58 billion. Third-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $1.16 and $16.9 billion in revenues.

On a GAAP basis, EPS for the quarter totaled $1.20, including a $0.05 gain on mark-to-market commodity hedges.

The company reaffirmed full-year revenue and EPS guidance. On a constant currency basis the company expects earnings to fall by approximately 5% from last year's EPS of $4.40. Taking into account the foreign currency translation effect (a negative 3%), the company is looking at EPS of around $4.05 to $4.06. The consensus estimate calls for EPS of $4.06.

Revenue for the full year is forecast in the low single digits on a constant currency basis. Adjusted for restructuring items and currency exchange rates, the company expects revenues to grow in the mid-single digits. The current consensus estimate calls for a decline in revenues of about 0.2% year-over-year.

The company's CEO said:

Our disciplined pricing and sustained investment in brand building drove 5 percent organic net revenue growth reflecting 1 percent organic volume growth and 4 percent effective net pricing.

We will continue to invest aggressively to build our brands, accelerate innovation to drive growth, focus on execution and deliver our productivity agenda while returning cash to shareholders.

PepsiCo expects to pay a total of $3.3 billion in dividends this year and to repurchase $3 billion in common stock. The company's current annual dividend is $2.15, for a dividend yield of $3.1%.

Like Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO), which reported results yesterday, PepsiCo is struggling with higher commodity costs. Coke expects commodity costs to rise $225 million in the fiscal year, and while PepsiCo did not specify an amount, the company did cite commodity cost increases as a negative in every one of its divisions.

Restructuring has cost PepsiCo $193 million year-to-date and $89 million in the third quarter alone. The company expects additional charges totaling $205 million in the rest of this year and $129 million in 2013. PepsiCo expects cash outlays of about $418 million in 2012 and an additional $287 million in the years 2013 to 2015 to pay for restructuring.

PepsiCo's shares are down fractionally in premarket trading, having closed last night at $70.30 in a 52-week range is $61.50 to $73.66. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $75.70 before today's report.

Paul Ausick