Verdict is out on whether the bears attacking PepsiCo's (PEP) stock will wander away after first-quarter results.
With PepsiCo shares down 14% year to date and rival Coca-Cola (KO) fresh off a solid quarter, Thursday's financial report card had to deliver on several fronts. At first blush, it's unclear if PepsiCo's start to the year will stabilize investor sentiment.
PepsiCo is a holding in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS.
Some crib notes:
- CEO commentary: A touch on the bearish side. CEO Indra Nooyi acknowledged the company must invest more in its core carbonated beverage business, which continued to struggle in the first-quarter. North American beverage volume fell 3% and the segment's core operating profits dropped 22%. "Although we continued to face challenges in North America Beverages, the sector had sequential improvement in top line momentum since the fourth quarter of 2017. We continued investing in and growing share in a number of faster-growing, future-facing categories. However, competitively we recognize the need to step up investments in core carbonated soft drinks, which we intend to responsibly do. We believe our plans will drive further improvement as the year progresses," Nooyi said in a statement.
- By the numbers: Short-term bullish, signaling the bears may have taken down PepsiCo's numbers too far. Sales topped Wall Street estimates by $200 million. Earnings beat forecasts by 3 cents, helped by a lower tax rate and share repurchases. The company also had good profit showings internationally, with growth in all regions excluding the impact of volatile currency exchange rates.
- Outlook: PepsiCo reiterated its full year sales and profit outlooks. The latter is no small achievement given cost pressure rippling through the packaged goods space. Bullish indicator.