Pepsi shores up the drink business in North America

PepsiCo, which like rival Coca-Cola is trying to find the right balance of healthier drinks and its classic sodas, staunched some of the sales declines in the latter category and got a boost in the first quarter from strong snack sales.

Revenue for beverages in North America fell 1 percent, after falling 3 percent in the same period last year, the company said Thursday.

“We continued investing in and growing share in a number of faster-growing, future-facing categories,” said CEO Indra Nooyi. “However, competitively we recognize the need to step up investments in core carbonated soft drinks, which we intend to responsibly do.”

Profit rose 2 percent to $1.34 billion, or 94 cents per share. Adjusted profit came to 96 cents per share, beating Wa;; Street’s per-share expectations by 2 cents, according to Zacks Investment Research.

Revenue rose 4 percent to $12.56 billion, also topping forecasts, thanks to robust sales of the snacks that PepsiCo makes. Sales from the company’s Frito-Lay business in North America rose 3 percent to $3.61 billion.

Coca-Cola, which released earnings earlier this week, was also able to strengthen drink sales in North America through new products like sugar-free drink in skinny colorful cans.

PepsiCo stuck to its full-year earnings projections for $5.70 per share, which is roughly in line with analyst expectations.

Shares of PepsiCo Inc., based in Purchase, New York, slipped less than 1 percent before the opening bell Thursday.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on PEP at https://www.zacks.com/ap/PEP