(PEP - Free Report
) may be
riding a string of seven straight positive earnings
surprises, but analysts have slashed their estimates. PEP is
the Bear of the Day as a Zacks Rank
Beating the Number
A sign of strong management is the ability to communicate
reasonable expectations to Wall Street. PEP has done just
that over the last two years as the company has converted on 7
straight earnings reports.
Another positive aspect PEP has going for it is the sales
growth. While minimal, there is still growth on a year over
year basis in each of the last two quarters. The soft drink
market is relatively mature, so any growth from a huge
company like PEP is good growth.
PepsiCo operates as a food and beverage company. They make
and sell soft drinks and snacks via numerous brands. PEP was
founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Purchase, New York.
As mentioned already, the company has a solid history of
beating the number. This is what long term investors like,
but they also wanted to be rewarded following the beat.
Over the last seven quarters, the stock traded higher only
four times in the session following the report. The largest
move by the stock was a 4.9% move after the March 2013
quarter was reported in April. The December 2011 quarter saw
the stock move lower by 4.2% even after the company beat
expectations by $0.02.
Fizz Coming From SODA
There have been rumors that PEP or KO might be looking to buy
smaller rival SODA. This idea propelled the stock price for
SODA to bubble up to new highs, but not so for the two major
players in the market.
The CEO of PEP shot down the notion of an acquisition noting
that it would be news to her if the deal happened.
Earnings Estimates Sink
Being lowered to a Rank #4 (Sell) implies that earnings
estimates have moved down. That is the case recently with
PEP estimates for 2013 and 2014.
June 2013 saw the Zacks Consensus Estimate at $4.40, right
were it had been for much of the year. But analysts dropped
their estimates down to $4.35 in July. That is a relatively
big move for an estimate that prior to that had a two cent
range all year.
Similarly, estimates for 2014 moved from $4.78 in June to
$4.74. Again the move is big on a relative basis.
The valuation picture for is a mixed one. The trailing and
forward PE show the company trading at a discount to the
industry averages. The price to book multiple of 5.7x is
rather large on an absolute basis, but below the 7.5x
industry average. The real concern comes when you look at
growth rates for revenue and earnings and you can see PEP is
not quite flat, but nowhere near the industry average. One
stat that isn't sweet or refreshing is the net margin
comparison. PEP has a 10.1% net margin, while the industry
The price and consensus chart for PEP is a strange one. I
know there is a lot of coverage for the stock, but it appears
that the stock has risen dramatically based solely on year
over year growth and estimates look to be tailing off. As a
defensive investors dream stock, PEP probably found a lot of
support from those investors. Now comes the question if the
stock can keep fizzing higher without spilling over the rim.
Brian Bolan is a Stock Strategist
for Zacks.com. He is the Editor in charge of the Zacks Home Run Investor
service, a Buy and Hold service where he recommends the
stocks in the portfolio.
Brian is also the editor of Breakout Growth
a trading service that focuses on small cap stocks and
a risk limiting strategy. Subscribers get daily emails along
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