PLANO, Texas (AP) — Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc.'s fourth-quarter net income climbed 48 percent, helped by higher prices and strong performances from its new Dr. Pepper TEN as well as its Sun Drop citrus-flavored beverage.
The beverage maker also said Wednesday that its 2012 adjusted earnings should meet or exceed analysts' expectations. Its stock added 67 cents to $39.78 in morning trading. Over the past year, the shares have traded between $33.68 and $43.13.
Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, whose other brands include A&W, 7Up and Mott's, earned $166 million, or 77 cents per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That's up from $112 million, or 49 cents per share, a year earlier.
Removing a legal provision related to a California lawsuit and other items, earnings were 82 cents per share.
This easily topped the 74 cents per share that analysts surveyed by FactSet expected.
Revenue increased 4 percent to $1.46 billion from $1.41 billion, edging out Wall Street's $1.45 billion estimate.
President and CEO Larry Young said in a statement that there's been a favorable response to its new Dr. Pepper TEN, which is a Dr. Pepper with 10 calories, and strong performances from Sun Drop and its teas and juices.
But the Plano, Texas company also noted that it is still being squeezed by increased packaging and ingredient costs. Many businesses have been facing escalating costs for some time and in turn have raised prices to help offset some of the burden.
For the year, Dr. Pepper Snapple earned $606 million, or $2.74 per share. That compares with earnings of $528 million, or $2.17 per share, in the prior year.
Adjusted earnings were $2.79 per share.
Annual revenue rose 5 percent to $5.9 billion from $5.64 billion.
Looking to 2012, Dr. Pepper Snapple anticipates adjusted earnings between $2.90 and $2.98 per share. Revenue is expected to rise, but near the low end of the company's long-term forecast for 3 percent to 5 percent growth.
Analysts foresee earnings of $2.90 per share and revenue of $6.07 billion, implying growth of 2.8 percent year over year.