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Ignore the Activist Investors: Pepsi Still Satisfies

Stocks in this article: PEP KO MDLZ DPS

Now I'm not suggesting that Pepsi is "better" than Coke. I won't get into that sort of debate. But Pepsi has beaten estimates in nearly every meaningful category amid significant headwinds. And I have to question why is now the time for activist investors to want to mess with something that clearly isn't broken. Management knows what it's doing.

All told, making a bold push for Modelez seems ill-timed, if not completely misguided. Besides, I don't believe Mondelez is an exceptional bargain, given that shares are sitting near their 52-week highs. And let's assume that Pepsi does make this acquisition. There's now the risk that Pepsi's management will not be able to execute to a level that exceeds the company's current output.

So although there are reasons to deal for Mondelez, I believe the greater risk would be to take the sort of action that disrupts Pepsi's current momentum. And Mondelez hasn't exactly performed to a level that deserves the sort of premium it would command. Until there is more compelling evidence that drastic action needs to be taken, I will have to side with management to maintain Pepsi's current structure as a diversified food and beverage operation.

Pepsi stock presents tremendous value here at around $78 per share. To the extent that management can execute on its long-term plans to improve operating margins, I don't see how this stock will ever go flat. And with the company still in the midst of $3 billion stock buyback, $90 per share seems a reasonable assumption in the next 6 to 12 months.

At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

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