Soft-drinks giant Dr Pepper Snapple Group (DPS) has moved past worrying about rising fuel and food prices and more about selling its products.
Revenues for the first quarter of 2011 hit $1.33 billion, up 7 percent from the same period a year earlier. Net income during the quarter rose 28 percent on year to $114 million. Both figures topped estimates by analysts, according to Reuters.
"We're off to a solid start in 2011. The foundational investments we've made to strengthen this business are paying off. Through rapid continuous improvement, or RCI, we're finding even more opportunities to free up resources to support growth. For the period, we increased distribution and availability," says President and CEO Larry Young in an earnings statement.
"Despite a significant escalation in commodity and fuel costs, we continue to manage this business for the long term, balancing brand growth with pricing, mix and productivity. With solid plans in place and with continued wins in RCI, I am confident we’ll deliver our commitments for the year."
So can the company keep the momentum going? Analysts think so. At first, UBS analysts say, one would watch the company with a cautious eye as any slips in sales could greatly affect business.
"With margin pressure expected in 2011, in particular in 2Q, we see limited near-term operating growth," UBS says, rating the company at neutral.
"However . . . commentary around expected volume (+1-2 percent) and pricing (plus 2.5 percent) leads us to believe gross profit will be slightly better than expected. We now estimate net sales growth will be 4.6 percent for 2011 on 1.8 percent volume growth," UBS writes.
Nevertheless, the median price target for the stock among analysts tracked by Thompson/First Call is $42, just a slight premium over recent trading action.
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