Retailers, consumers and prices
Check Out Line: Refreshing quarterly earnings
Check out the strong earnings results from several companies in the consumer sector.
PepsiCo reported a rise in fourth-quarter earnings in line with expectations, stronger-than-expected sales and maintained its full-year outlook. The maker of Pepsi drinks and Frito-Lay snacks said the volume of snacks sold rose 1 percent, while beverage volume fell by the same amount.
The company, which also owns Tropicana, Quaker and Gatorade, also said it still hopes to complete its $7.8 billion acquisition of its two largest bottlers by the end of the month.
Meanwhile, interactive toy maker LeapFrog posted a fourth-quarter profit that handily beat analysts’ estimates and it forecast strong revenue growth for the year. Apparel manufacturer VF Corp, whose brands include Wrangler, Lee and Vans, rang up a better-than-expected profit on strong demand for outdoor wear, and AutoNation, the largest U.S. auto dealership group, also beat expectations.
In another good sign for the U.S. economy, jobless claims fell sharply last week, reversing a recent spike that had raised concerns about renewed labor market weakness.
Not everyone is saying things are great, however, as French food group Danone said the crisis caused by weak consumption was far from over.
Also in the basket:
Giants Ally on Film in Bid to Promote Family TV (Wall Street Journal)
Snow Disrupts Fashion Shows and Stores (WWD, subscription required)