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Friday August 17th, 2018 12:52PM

PepsiCo puts up strong numbers in fourth quarter

By The Associated Press

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

The company said Tuesday that it anticipates 9 percent growth this year in adjusted, per-share earnings and it will bump up its annualized dividend by 15 percent starting in June. It will also increase its share buy-back program from $12 billion, to $15 billion.

For the period ended Dec. 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.

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 U.S. will help it add new digital and ecommerce 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.

_____

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

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