The world’s largest snack-food maker’s profit topped analysts’ estimates amid price increases and higher beverage sales volumes. The company’s profit, excluding some items, was $1.20 a share, which exceeded the $1.16 average of 14 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg.
Global drinks sales volumes, excluding the effects of acquisitions, divestitures, and foreign-currency fluctuations, grew 1 percent, as snack volume jumped 3 percent, while its effective net pricing rose 4 percent. The company’s Chief Executive Officer, Indra Nooyi, had resorted to increased marketing spending since February, in order to boost its beverage sales in America and increase profit from its snack brands. As a result, America’s beverages unit was able to offset a 3 percent decline in bottler case volume, by a 3 percent increase in pricing. PepsiCo’s, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) pricing and sales volume also registered an increase at convenience stores and gas stations.
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Earlier this week, Thomas Mullarkey, an analyst for Morningstar, Inc. (NASDAQ:MORN) in Chicago, said, “Indra is really focused on showing investors that their leading salty snack portfolio can be used to drive their soft drink sales”.
However, the company’s third-quarter sales fell 5.3 percent to $16.7 billion, but excluding the impacts of currency fluctuations and the re-franchising of its bottling businesses in China and Mexico, revenues rose by 5 percent, representing 1 percentage point of volume growth and 4 percentage points from price increases.
The beverage maker’s third quarter results showed sequential improvement at Frito, and across International businesses. A report from Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) states, “marketing investment is expected to be higher in 4Q and in our view, management will want to reinvest upside to drive performance in 2013”. The company’s headline sales were below consensus, due to structural changes in China and Mexico, and its volumes/organic revenues were in-line or better than expected at Frito North America, Quaker Chemical Corp (NYSE:KWR), LAFoods, AMEA, and Europe.
The world’s second-largest soft-drink maker also revised its forecast that earnings per share, excluding certain costs and foreign-currency effects, would decline 5 percent this year.
“I expect to see, with our balanced portfolio, continued growth in our core beverage business,” Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston said today, in an interview on Bloomberg television. So far this year, the company has introduced Pepsi Next, a mid-calorie cola, and started a new global marketing campaign for its flagship Pepsi brand.
BAML notes that headline sales were below consensus due to structural changes in China and Mexico. Volumes/organic revenues were in-line or better than expected at Frito North America, Quaker, LAFoods, AMEA and Europe. Americas beverages were weaker than expected with bottler case volumes -3.0%- there was a 1 point negative move from calendar shift. 7) Operating profits were $40m ahead of our forecast with all of the upside in division operating profits coming from AMEA and Europe. Corporate expense was also favorable.