PepsiCo results beat; keeps outlook

By Martinne Geller

PepsiCo said its 2011 forecast included "high global commodity cost inflation, difficult macroeconomic conditions in developed markets and ongoing strategic investments in emerging markets and in brand-building activities."

Beyond 2011, PepsiCo forecast high-single-digit earnings-per-share growth, as it expects cost inflation and macroeconomic uncertainty to continue.

Like most other consumer products companies, the maker of Tropicana orange juice and Frito-Lay snacks has tried to offset higher costs for everything from corn and fruit to packaging and fuel with productivity improvements and price increases.

But pricing in the first half of the year "has not been what we would have liked or expected," said Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston, due to weak consumer spending.

Both Pepsi and Coca-Cola CO bought their bottlers last year.

PepsiCo shares were up 9 cents, or 0.1 percent, to $68.02 on the New York Stock Exchange. Coca-Cola shares were down 10 cents at $66.90.


PepsiCo's net income was $1.14 billion, or 71 cents per share, in the first quarter, down from $1.43 billion, or 89 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, profit was 74 cents per share, topping analysts' average estimate, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S, by a penny.

Revenue jumped 27 percent to $11.94 billion. Analysts expected $11.71 billion. Excluding the impact of acquisitions, revenue was up 5 percent.

Worldwide, volume rose 3 percent in the snacks business and 3.5 percent in the beverage business, excluding the impact of acquisitions. North American beverage volume rose 2 percent, excluding acquisitions.

The company stood by its prior target for 2011 earnings to grow 7 percent to 8 percent from $4.13 per share in 2010. It expects commodity cost inflation of $1.4 billion to $1.6 billion this year, on a base of $18 billion of commodity-based input costs.

It also expects a 1 percent to 2 percent benefit from the weak U.S. dollar, which boosts the value of overseas sales.

PepsiCo's food business makes it exposed to a much wider range of commodities than Coke, which weighs on its valuation and ability to fully offset the inflation.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Derek Caney)