Shop Talk

Retailers, consumers and prices

Check Out Line: Earnings to quench investors’ thirst

July 20, 2010

pepsi1Check out the latest quarterly earnings for signs of a recovery.

Whirlpool and PepsiCo both reported better-than-expected quarterly profits and pointed to improving trends, lending hope to optimists that the economy is slowly improving.

While citing continuing macroeconomic challenges, PepsiCo, which makes Tropicana juice, Frito-Lay snacks and Quaker Oats in addition to its namesake cola,  posted stronger-than-expected results and affirmed its earnings per share growth target for the fiscal year.

“We are benefiting from both the acquisition of our anchor bottlers earlier this year and from improving trends across our global business.  As planned, we have stepped up incremental investments around the world to capitalize on untapped consumer demand,” Chief Financial Officer Hugh Johnston said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Whirlpool beat profit and sales estimates on strong demand in Asia and Latin America, prompting the world’s largest appliance maker to raise its outlook for the year.

Nevertheless, pessimists have their data points. Unemployment continues to weigh on consumers and U.S. homebuilder confidence fell to a 15-month low in July. Whirlpool rival Electrolux also missed earnings forecasts, sending shares in the Swedish company sliding on fears that recent growth trends have topped out.

Also in the basket:

William Hill says World Cup offset weak Ascot

Honda to sell plug-in hybrid, electric cars in 2012

Honda China supplier gets tough on striking workers

Volkswagen says 3 pct of sales to be electric cars

(Reuters photo)

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