PepsiCo (PEP) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Thursday, and said it should beat its own organic sales forecast for the full year, as a renewed marketing push boosted demand for its drinks and snacks.

PepsiCo said core earnings for the three months ending on September 7, the company's fiscal third quarter, came in at $1.56 per share, down 1.9% from teh same period last year and 5 cents ahead of the Street consensus forecast. Group revenues, the company said, rose 4.2% to $17.188 billion, against topping analysts' forecasts of a $16.93 billion tally,

Looking into 2019, PepsiCo said it could "meet or exceed" its 4% growth target for organic sales, but noted that its full-year core earnings forecast of $5.50 per share remains unchanged, a figure that sits just shy of the Refinitv estimate of $5.52 per share.

"We are pleased with our results for the third quarter," said CEO Ramon Laguarta. "While adverse foreign exchange translation negatively impacted reported net revenue performance, organic revenue growth was 4.3% in the quarter."

"We are making good progress against our strategic priorities and our businesses are performing well as we continue to make the necessary investments in our capabilities, brands, manufacturing and go-to-market capacity to propel our future growth," he added. "Given our performance year-to-date, we now expect to meet or exceed our full-year organic revenue growth target of 4%."

PepsiCo share were marked 2.8% higher at the start of trading following the earnings release to change hands at $137.84 each, a move that would extend the stock's year-to-date gain to around 25%.