PepsiCo puts up strong numbers in fourth quarter

PURCHASE, New York (AP) — PepsiCo posted a fourth-quarter loss due to comprehensive changes in US tax law, but it topped most expectations when that extraordinary cost is removed.

The company said yesterday that it anticipates nine per cent growth this year in adjusted, per-share earnings and it will bump up its annualised dividend by 15 per cent starting in June.

It will also increase its share buy-back programme from $12 billion, to $15 billion.

For the period ended December 30, PepsiCo Inc lost $710 million, or 50 cents per share. A year earlier the Purchase, New York, company earned $1.4 billion, or 97 cents per share.

The current quarter included a $2.5 billion provisional net tax expense related to the tax overhaul.

File photo shows a Pepsi truck delivering products to vendors at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield, Illinois. – AP

Stripping out the expense and other items, earnings were $1.31 per share, a penny better than what analysts polled by Zacks Investment Research were calling for.

Revenue rose slightly to $19.53 billion from $19.52 billion as sales climbed in Latin America and the Europe Sub-Saharan African segment. The performance beat the $19.44 billion analysts polled by Zacks expected.

PepsiCo said that the recent tax overhaul in the US will help it add new digital and e-commerce capabilities and speed up capital investments to add manufacturing capacity.

Looking ahead, the company foresees 2018 adjusted earnings of $5.70 per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet predict $5.67 per share.

PepsiCo’s stock climbed slightly before the market open.