Pepsi bottlesPepsiCo (PEP) reported Thursday that its third-quarter net income grew by 12% to $1.22 per share, in line with analyst estimates, as revenue jumped 40%, driven by broad-based gains across its snack and beverage portfolio and the acquisition of its two bottlers. But the company trimmed the top end of its full-year earnings and shares dropped 2.6% in premarket trading.

"Even in a macroeconomic environment that continues to be challenging, we believe we have achieved top-tier performance among leading consumer staple companies," said Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi.

PepsiCo said it earned $1.9 billion, or $1.19 per share, in the third quarter ended September 4, up 12% from $1.7 billion, or $1.09 in the same period last year. Adjusted EPS came in at $1.22 compared to $1.08 last year. Revenue jumped 40% to $15.5 billion from $11.1 billion last year. In the U.S., all food businesses posted sequential improvements in volume and operating profit growth.

The American beverage business saw volume, net revenue and operating profit results driven by the favorable impact of the bottling acquisitions, synergies and improving sequential organic volume trends across the product portfolio in North America.

European growth was driven by broad-based gains across the region in both snacks and beverages and from the favorable impact of the bottling acquisitions. In Asia, Middle East and Africa volume gains in both snacks and beverages drove strong top-line performance.

Looking ahead, Pepsi trimmed the top end of its full-year guidance and is targeting an 11% to 12% growth rate for EPS from its fiscal 2009 EPS of $3.71. The previous range was 11% to 13%. Foreign exchange translation would represent a one percentage point unfavorable impact on the company's full-year, core EPS, meaning Pepsi expects growth in core EPS for the year to be in the 10% to 11% range.

The second largest beverage company also announced the creation of a new Global Nutrition Group which it said would allow the company "to deliver breakthrough innovation in the areas of fruits and vegetables, grains, dairy and functional nutrition." The group will be based in Chicago and run by PepsiCo's chief scientific officer, Dr. Mehmood Khan.

"The creation of this Global Nutrition Group is part of our long-term strategy to grow our nutrition businesses from about $10 billion in revenues today to $30 billion by 2020," Nooyi said. "The market potential is significant, our stable of brands – Quaker, Tropicana, Lebedyansky, Sabra, Alvalle – impressive, and our go-to-market systems powerful. We have been actively ramping up our innovation capabilities and developing strong partnerships with the scientific community, including with universities and research institutions around the world."

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