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PepsiCo shares fall as higher costs overshadow beverage rebound

PepsiCo shares fall as higher costs overshadow beverage rebound

Company CEO Indra Nooyi managed to return PepsiCo Inc.’s drinks business to growth in her final quarter in charge of the company, but it wasn’t enough to satisfy investors

PepsiCo Inc.’s shares slid on Tuesday after the company cut its full-year profit forecast and stated that it had not plans to invest in cannabis. The company also reported higher transportation and aluminum costs and stated that it would raise prices on snacks and drinks.

Wells Fargo Securities LLC analyst Bonnie Herzog stated in a research note on Tuesday: “We remain concerned by mounting commodity pressures.” She also cited increasing costs and currency pressures, and noted that the beverage unit’s performance was encouraging.

In the third quarter, PepsiCo’s North American beverage unit returned to growth, helping the company beat earnings estimates. That unit, however, also saw operating profit erode on higher costs.

The shares dropped as much as 2.7% to $107.70 in New York, the biggest decline in almost two months, before paring the loss to about 1%. The stock had fallen 7.7% this year through Monday, while Coca-Cola Co. rose 0.8% over the same period.

A lower tax rate helped boost core earnings per share to $1.59, which is 2 cents above the average prediction from analysts. PepsiCo warned that full-year core earnings per share would be $5.65, down from its prior expectation of $5.70, citing the strong dollar.

In addition to posting growth overseas, the company also got a boost from its Frito-Lay unit. The snack giant has buoyed PepsiCo amid a slump in soda consumption– which Nooyi had vowed to fix.

PepsiCo’s results showed that its core brands still have some strength, however, with beverages getting a boost from Pepsi, Mountain Dew and Gatorade. That boost came after Pepsi increased its advertising budget in a bid to fend off longtime rival Coke.

Nooyi is leaving the coveted position as PepsiCo’s CEO on Wednesday after 12 years. Born in India, she was PepsiCo’s first woman CEO and its first foreign-born CEO. One of her final key decisions was to buy fizzy-drinks dispenser SodaStream International for $3.2 billion—a move that gave a company synonymous with sweet, sugary sodas a way into the homes of more health-conscious consumers.

She will be passing the reins to Barcelona-born Ramon Laguarta—whose key challenge will be to figure out exactly what to do with SodaStream.

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