Will PepsiCo (PEP) Stock Be Affected By This Lawsuit?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) and its Quaker Oats unit are being sued $2 billion for trademark infringement by the descendants of a woman said to be the inspiration for the “Aunt Jemima” character for its pancake syrup product line, Bloomberg reports.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern Illinois, Chicago, and alleges that the likeness of Anna Short Harrington was used for profit without proper compensation.

Harrington’s descendants are also seeking to have Quaker Oats, the maker of “Aunt Jemima,” products banned in the emerging markets in West Africa, on the grounds that the company should be penalized for “causing collateral economic injury to black Americans,” Bloomberg added.  

A spokeswoman for PepsiCo told Bloomberg the company doesn’t believe Harrington’s heirs have a case.

Must read: Warren Buffett's 25 Favorite Stocks

Shares of PepsiCo are up 0.50% to $91.67.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates PEPSICO INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate PEPSICO INC (PEP) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations, growth in earnings per share, expanding profit margins and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated."

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