Profitable Pepsi: Sales Boost Earnings

PepsiCo Inc. (PEP), the world's second-largest soft-drink maker, Wednesday reported fourth-quarter earnings rose 13 percent as the company benefited from an extra selling week in the quarter and sales growth across its Frito-Lay, Quaker Foods and beverage operations.

Quarterly profit totaled $1.11 billion, or 65 cents per share, up from $985 million, or 58 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 15 percent to $10.1 billion from $8.8 billion, helped by one extra selling week compared with last year.

The company said the extra week boosted earnings per share by 3 cents, but that amount was offset by restructuring charges.

PepsiCo's earnings matched analysts expectations of 65 cents per share, according to Thomson Financial, and topped the revenue consensus estimate of $9.57 billion.

For the full year, the company's earnings fell to $4.08 billion, or $2.39 per share, from $4.21 billion, or $2.44 per share. Revenue grew to $32.56 billion from $29.26 billion.

PepsiCo said its latest full-year results included a 27-cent-per-share tax charge for repatriated overseas earnings, and factored in the extra week and restructuring.

For 2006, the company forecast earnings of at least $2.93 per share on mid-single-digit percentage revenue growth. PepsiCo also said it expects net capital spending of about $2.2 billion, above its long-term target of about 5 percent of net revenue. It expects capital spending to return to that rate after this year.

PepsiCo plans to repurchase about $3 billion in stock for 2006.