PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) - Get PepsiCo, Inc. Report posted fourth-quarter earnings that were largely in-line with analysts's forecasts, but said 2019 earnings would fall as the company boosts investments in some of its key consumer products
Pepsi said core earnings for the three months ending in December came in at $1.49 per share, rising 13.7% from the same period last year and matching the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues were also in-line with estimates, but were essentially flat from the prior year period at $19.524 billion. Pepsi also said it would boost its annual dividend by 3% to $3.82 per share.
Looking into 2019, Pepsi said core earnings would decline by 1%, thanks in part to "incremental investments that are intended to further strengthen the business", but noted the group should return to a "high-single-digit core constant currency EPS growth" rate the following year.
"We are pleased with our results for the fourth quarter and the full year 2018," said CEO Ramon Laguarta. "We met or exceeded each of the financial objectives we set out at the beginning of the year. Frito-Lay North America and each of our international sectors performed very well, and our North America Beverages sector made progress throughout the year."
"In 2019, we aim to capitalize on the momentum we have as we enter the year, and to continue to invest in the capabilities that will better position us for success for years to come," he added.
Pepsi shares were marked 2.3% higher in the opening minutes of trading Friday to change hands at $115.27 each.
Pepsi's tepid 2019 outlook echoes forecasts from rival Coca-Cola Co. (KO) - Get Coca-Cola Company Report yesterday, which noted that organic revenue growth would slow and comparable earnings would likely remain flat thanks in part to a stronger U.S. dollar.
The U.S. dollar index, which benchmarks the greenback against a basket of six major global currencies, rose 1.1% over the three months ending in December, but ended the year 3.8% higher than the fourth quarter of 2017.
Coca-Cola said it sees organic revenues rising 4%, down from 5% in 2018, and a 12% to 13% gain in currency-neutral revenues. Headwinds in currency markets will hit net revenues by 6% to 7%, the company said.
Comparable non-GAAP earnings, which totaled $2.08 in 2018, are expected to be within 1% of that figure, either to the upside or the downside, across the whole of 2019, Coca-Cola said, well shy of the Refinitiv forecast of $2.23 per share.
Coca-Cola shares fell 8.38% yesterday to close at $45.59 each, but were marked 0.42% in pre-market dealing at $45.78 each.