PepsiCo Inc., whose stable of brands includes beverages and the Frito-Lay snack division, posted fourth-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates even as currency headwinds eroded sales.
Excluding some items, including the currency impact, profit was $1.12 a share in the period, the Purchase, New York-based company said Wednesday in a statement. The average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was $1.08 a share.
PepsiCo generated organic sales growth of 5 per cent last quarter, helped by gains at its snack and beverage businesses. While currency fluctuations turned that increase into a 1 per cent drop, the results showed overlying strength at the company. It also pledged to return $8.5 billion to $9 billion to shareholders through dividends and share buybacks in 2015.
“PepsiCo right now has a lot of momentum,” Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston said in an interview. The company has increased U.S. sales by $1 billion, lifted by new products such as Naked Juice Kale Blazer and Mountain Dew Kickstart, Johnston said.
The shares rose 3.6 per cent to $101.55 in early trading on Wednesday after the results were released. PepsiCo stock had climbed 3.6 percent this year before today.