Pepsi Earnings Preview: Will Profits Pop?

Analysts are predicting Pepsi will report second-quarter earnings of $1.08 on revenue of $14.4 billion. We pop the top on the upcoming Pepsi earnings.
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NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Pepsi

(PEP) - Get Report

Second-Quarter Earnings Date:

Tuesday, July 20, before the market.

The Street Projections:

Analysts on average are predicting that Pepsi will report second-quarter earnings of $1.08 on revenue of $14.4 billion. During the same period last year, Pepsi reported earnings of 78 cents a share, excluding net after-tax gain of 18 cents a share. The gain is a result of a benefit from the settlement of tax audits, previously announced restructuring charges, and advisory fees relating to Pepsi's proposal to acquire Pepsi Bottling Group.

Main Areas of Focus:

Top-line trends for Pepsi's North America beverage business amid aggressive promotional activity at mass retailers such as

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

; the progress of Pepsi's integration with its bottlers; the company's foreign exchange outlook; and Frito-Lay's top line trends amid tough comparisons to last year, where the consumer climate was very value-focused.

What the Equity Analysts Have Been Saying:

Credit Suisse:

Ahead of the earnings report, Credit Suisse has an outperform rating for Pepsi stock with a target price of $76. "Investors with no faith in the turnaround prospects of the North American beverage unit can still find value, attractive cash back to shareholders, a strong balance sheet, and the free option that management stands to stabilize U.S. beverage EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes)," analyst Carlos Laboy wrotie in a recent investor note.

Laboy believes Pepsi will benefit from a swing from consumer discretionary names toward consumer staples following peak-market EPS growth rates in the first half of 2010 and subsequent -- and even sharp -- slowdown in EPS growth over the next 12 months. Laboy also sees a strong second-half for Pepsi's snack unit. "But the meaningful premium to market is not coming back until management can string together evidence of North American beverage stabilization, which we hope is taking place in 2010."

Goldman Sachs:

Ahead of the earnings report, Goldman Sachs has a conviction buy rating for Pepsi stock with a target price of $76 and 21% upside as analyst Judy Hong continues to see opportunities in U.S. markets segments that are showing sales recovery and where competitive activity is "innovation-driven," rather than "price driven."

In a recent investor note, Hong wrote that Pepsi's price/earnings ratio is low vs. its food peers, that the company has significant EPS cushion from synergies, and that pricing for its carbonated soft drinks category should hold. Meanwhile demand for its non-carbonated drinks category is firming.

Still, Hong warned that food giant

General Mills

(GIS) - Get Report

is gaining share on "healthy pricing," while PepsiCo has underperformed in this regard.

Total Recommendations:

9 Strong Buys, 1 Moderate Buy, 2 Holds, 1 Moderate Sell

Pepsi Hikes Dividend by 7%

Click here for more on Pepsi's second straight dividend hike

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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>>Pepsi Hikes Dividend by 7%

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