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PepsiCo Profit Matches Forecast

It guides 2006 in line.
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fourth-quarter earnings rose 12% from last year, helped by volume gains overseas and in its Quaker unit.

Pepsi earned $1.11 billion, or 65 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $985 million, or 58 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts surveyed by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 65 cents a share in the latest quarter. Revenue rose 15% from a year ago to $10.1 billion, above the $9.57 billion consensus.

For all of 2006, Pepsi expects to earn "at least $2.93 a share." The Thomson First Call consensus is for earnings of $2.93 a share.

On an adjusted basis that excludes an extra week of operation in the latest quarter and restructuring charges, Pepsi's Frito Lay North America saw fourth-quarter operating profit rise 4% from a year ago on a 6% revenue gain and 3% volume growth. Pepsi Bottling North America saw operating profit fall 3% on a 9% revenue gain and 4% volume growth. Pepsi International saw profit rise 15% on a 14% rise in revenue and 9% volume growth. Quaker Foods North America saw profits rise 5% on a 13% rise in revenue and 10% volume growth.

"Our top line has shown consistently strong growth throughout the year, and earnings were strong despite a challenging input cost environment," Pepsi said. "Importantly, we've made investments in the marketplace and in productivity that, together with our top-line momentum, gives us confidence as we enter 2006."