On Wednesday, rival PepsiCo (PEP) - Get Report reported earnings that blew the world's most iconic soda brand out of the water, as TheStreet's Brian Sozzi reported. However, Pepsi's guidance disappointed investors, sending shares down slightly in Wednesday trading. Is this just giving investors a good opportunity to grab more shares at a better price?
For the fourth quarter, PepsiCo saw profits of $1.4 billion, or 97 cents a share. Adjusted earnings came in at $1.20 a share, beating the $1.16 Wall Street had been expecting.
But for full-year 2017, PepsiCo's projections of $5.09 a share missed the $5.16 a share that analysts had been expecting.
However, although the company's 2017 guidance missed Wall Street's expectations, it's no reason to start being bearish on Pepsi's stock. As analyst Bonnie Herzog of Wells Fargo points out, the $5.09 a share earnings guidance would represent growth of 8%, which is above the company's average beginning-of-the-year guidance (around 6% to 7%). Pepsi has a habit of low-balling initial forecasts and raising them later in the year, pleasing its investors.
Over at Coca-Cola, however, the fourth quarter was worse. Earnings fell year over year from 38 cents a share to 37 cents a share. And revenue slipped from $10.01 billion a year ago to $9.41 billion. For the fiscal year, Coke forecasts earnings will decline by 1% to 4%. Wall Street analysts had expected earnings to improve from $1.91 a share to $1.97 a share instead.
The entire soda industry has been struggling due to consumers kicking the soda habit. Across the board, sales of sugary soda have decreased as Americans, in particular, opt for drinks they consider healthier.
This is where PepsiCo's product portfolio has shone. The company has been increasing its holdings of non-soda alternatives. CEO Indra Nooyi remarked on Wednesday that the company's Naked Juice line is on track to becoming a billion-dollar brand.
Nor have PepsiCo's profits been restricted to drinks. The company also owns many popular snack food brands, including the perennial favorite Frito-Lay. During the most recent quarter, the company's snack food divisions saw a global sales volume increase of 3%, while the beverage divisions saw a boost of only 1%.
PepsiCo's diverse portfolio of brands continues to make the company's stock a better investment than rivals Coca-Cola and Dr Pepper Snapple (DPS) . Whereas for years Coke has put too much focus on its core product, PepsiCo has been nimble and is now ready to adapt to consumers' sometimes rapidly changing tastes.
Making itself an even better investment, PepsiCo has announced that it's increasing its annualized dividend by 7%, from $3.01 a share to $3.22 a share.
Investors looking for bubbly profits should look for price dips in PepsiCo's stock as great opportunities to snap up shares.
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The author is an independent contributor who at the time of publication owned none of the stocks mentioned.