Retailers, consumers and prices
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.
Executives from two top U.S. automobile dealers sat down with Reuters’ Detroit bureau chief Kevin Krolicki and correspondent James Kelleher at the Detroit auto show and dished on the industry. Some thoughts on various automakers and the sector follow:
Earl Hesterberg, Group 1 Automotive CEO
Regarding GM and CEO Ed Whitacre:
“I am happy to see some sense of urgency and aggressiveness. We have not had nearly enough sales activity in our GM dealerships for the last year and we’ve been waiting for them to get aggressive and try to get back in the market and get it growing. … (Whitacre) seems to have that same urgency to step up their volumes.”