PepsiCo Reports, Rebuffs Activist Peltz’s Separation Call

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Activist investor Nelson Peltz and his Trian Fund Management LP, who own less than one percent of PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP), the world’s largest snack maker, has been urging the conglomerate to separate its beverage division from foods for some time. Today, Pepsi essentially said that’s not going to happen despite the pressure.

After further review

Pepsi, Chief Executive Officer Indra Nooyi began a review of the businesses in 2012, and those findings have proved that idea premature in the executive’s mind. While shares declined in trading on Thursday, this was a “final” decision and one would think they will stabilize soon.

PepsiCo, which owns Frito-Lay, Gatorade and Quaker oats said in a statement today that keeping the divisions together is in the best interests of shareholders.

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This is not the first time that Peltz has made suggestions/demands. He urged Pepsi to look at Mondelez International Inc. for a merger, then quickly abandoned that call.

“There were investors who were hoping for some sort of restructuring of the beverage side,” Jack Russo, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co., said in an interview with Bloomberg. “It’s a business that has been lagging, so if you can reduce your exposure to it that should help your returns, but PepsiCo has said they are going to stick with it and try to fix it on their own.”

Russo, who is based in St. Louis, has a Buy rating on the shares.

Pepsi’s 4th quarter

PepsiCo fell 2.9 percent to $79.14 earlier on Thursday but returned to $79.69 at close, down 2.21%. Shares of Pepsi have fallen along with the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index. The former down 1.7% while the index is down 1.6%.

While not bowing to Peltz, Nooyi reiterated that the company will extend a cost-cutting plan, and will reduce $5 billion in expenses over five years starting in 2015.

PepsiCo recently beat analysts’ estimates for its fourth quarter returning earnings per share of $1.05 compared to the consensus estimate of $1.00. Net income in the fourth quarter rose 4.9 percent to $1.74 billion, or $1.12 a share, from $1.66 billion, or $1.06, a year earlier, the company reported on Thursday.

Revenue was fairly stagnant seeing a rise of just 0.8 percent or $20.1 billion, matching analysts’ estimates.