* 3rd-qtr sales $16.03 bln vs. est. $15.83 bln
* Adj profit $1.40/shr vs. est. $1.32
* Full-year adj. profit forecast raised to $4.78/shr from
* Says about 45 pct of revenue coming from "guilt free"
* Shares rise 0.3 pct
(Adds Breakingviews link, closing share price)
Sept 29 PepsiCo Inc reported
better-than-expected quarterly net revenue and profit on
Thursday, helped by higher demand in North America for its
lineup of beverages and snacks with fewer calories and more
The company also raised its 2016 adjusted profit forecast.
PepsiCo and other processed-food companies are investing
heavily to develop products to meet the changing tastes of
consumers, who are increasingly seeking healthier options.
PepsiCo that about 45 percent of its net revenue now came
from "guilt-free" products - beverages that have fewer than 70
calories per 12 ounces and snacks that have lower amounts of
salt and saturated fat.
PepsiCo's healthier brands include Propel flavored-water,
Naked Cold Pressed juice and its "Simply" line of foods
featuring products such as organic salsa and chips made from
black beans, which have helped drive sales in recent quarters.
The company said it was expanding its offerings of baked
chips, which include Baked Lays and Baked Cheetos, to more
markets outside the United States.
"Consumers want healthy and these companies have to give
them what they want," Edward Jones analyst Jack Russo said.
REVENUE FALLS AGAIN
PepsiCo's businesses in Russia, China and India improved in
the third quarter, while Western Europe "is not getting worse,"
Chief Executive Indra Nooyi said on a conference call.
North America is the company's biggest market, accounting
for about 60 percent of revenue in 2015.
However, the company's revenue fell for the eighth straight
quarter, hurt by high inflation in some Latin American economies
such as Venezuela and Argentina and unfavorable exchange rates.
Net revenue fell about 2 percent to $16.03 billion in the
third quarter, but beat the average analyst estimate of $15.83
billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue in the North America beverages unit, the company's
biggest business, rose about 3 percent to $5.52 billion.
Net income attributable to PepsiCo rose to $1.99 billion, or
$1.37 per share, in the three months ended Sept. 3 from $533
million, or 36 cents per share, a year earlier, when the company
recorded a $1.36 billion impairment charge on its Venezuela
Excluding items, PepsiCo earned $1.40 per share, beating the
average analyst estimate of $1.32.
The company said it was benefiting from a multi-year
cost-cutting plan, which includes closing plants, simplifying
its organization structure and investing in automation.
PepsiCo raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast by 7
cents to $4.78 per share.
The company's stock closed 0.3 higher at $107.76, up more
than 15 percent over the year.
(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Don