PepsiAmericas Sales, Profit Fall

Bottling company, which is being acquired by drink maker PepsiCo Inc., said profit slipped 9 percent from weak U.S. sales and unfavorable currency exchange rates.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- PepsiAmericas, which is being acquired by drink maker PepsiCo Inc., said Friday that its profit slipped in the fourth quarter from weak U.S. sales and unfavorable currency exchange rates.

People hit hard by the recession have changed consumption habits, buying less or buying teas or juices instead of soft drinks.

The company said currency rates cost it $101 million, or 82 cents per share for the full year.

In the final quarter, earnings dropped 9 percent to $34.6 million, or 28 cents per share, compared with $37.8 million, or 30 cents per share, a year earlier.

Taking out a large gain related to the end of an interest rate swap and other items, profit was 16 cents per share.

That was less than half the 33 cent-per-share forecast of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters, whose estimates normally exclude one-time items.

Shares of PepsiAmericas Inc. dipped 50 cents to $29.07 before the market opened.

The final quarter also included fees related to PepsiCo's proposed $7.8 billion acquisition of PepsiAmericas and The Pepsi Bottling Group Inc. On Wednesday PepsiCo said the bottler's shareholders have until Feb. 18 to choose if they want cash for their stock. Shareholders who do not elect to receive cash for part or all of their shares will receive shares of PepsiCo. PepsiCo hopes to close the acquisitions by the end of February.

PepsiAmericas' fourth-quarter revenue fell about 17 percent to $968.3 million from $1.17 billion, missing the $1.08 billion analysts expected.

For the year, earnings declined 20 percent to $181.2 million, or $1.46 per share, from $226.4 million, or $1.78 per share, in the prior year.

Adjusted profit was $1.69 per share.

Full-year revenue slipped 11 percent to $4.42 billion from $4.94 billion.

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