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Vivek Kumar
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PepsiCo

Harrison, New York-based global food and beverage leader PepsiCo is expected to report its first-quarter earnings of $1.12 per share, which represents year-over-year growth of about 4% from $1.07 per share seen in the same quarter a year ago.

The U.S. multinational food, snack, and beverage corporation would post revenue growth of over 5% to about $14.6 billion. In the last four consecutive quarters, on average, the company which holds approximately a 32% share of the U.S. soft drink industry has delivered an earnings surprise of nearly 6%.

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PepsiCo’s better-than-expected results, which will be announced on Thursday, April 15, would help the stock to recoup this year’s losses. PepsiCo shares, which rose over 8% in 2020, slumped about 4% so far this year.

PepsiCo Stock Price Forecast

Seven analysts who offered stock ratings for PepsiCo in the last three months forecast the average price in 12 months of $150.67 with a high forecast of $161.00 and a low forecast of $136.00.

The average price target represents a 5.49% increase from the last price of $142.83. Of those seven analysts, three rated “Buy”, three rated “Hold” while one rated “Sell”, according to Tipranks.

Morgan Stanley gave the base target price of $158 with a high of $185 under a bull scenario and $102 under the worst-case scenario. The firm gave an “Overweight” rating on the beverage company’s stock.

Several other analysts have also updated their stock outlook. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of PepsiCo from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $142price target. Sanford C. Bernstein issued an “underperform” rating and a $136 target price. Deutsche Bank increased their target price to $148 from $143 and gave the company a “hold” rating. Wells Fargo issued an “equal weight” rating and a $157 target price.

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Analyst Comments

“We are OW PEP. We forecast Pepsi will post superior topline growth relative to peers driven by exposure to the higher growth/higher margin snacks category (2/3 of PEP’s profit). Snacks is a higher growth category given: (1) shift to snacking vs. sit-down meals; (2) less pressure from health/wellness vs. beverages, and (3) PEP’s leading share in snacks vs. fragmented competition, driving share gains, and higher margins/ROIC,” noted Dara Mohsenian, equity analyst at Morgan Stanley.

“We also see more structural Pepsi market share benefits post-COVID, as PEP uses its DSD distribution advantage, to gain shelf space and share in snacks, and in beverages, where PEP is advantaged vs competition with a much lower mix in away-from-home.”

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