Dr Pepper Snapple trims sales view after flat third-quarter

Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:08am EDT

(Reuters) - Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc (DPS.N) trimmed its full-year sales growth target on Wednesday after its third-quarter sales came in lower than Wall Street expected, with price increases curbing demand.

The maker of soft drinks like 7UP, Sunkist and Hawaiian Punch said it now expects full-year net sales growth of 2 percent, down from a prior forecast closer to 3 percent.

"We continue to operate in an uncertain economic and cautious consumer environment," said Chief Executive Larry Young.

The company stood by its full-year profit forecast of $2.90 to $2.98 per share.

For the third quarter, Dr Pepper reported net sales of $1.53 billion, down less than 1 percent from a year earlier. Analysts, on average, expected $1.56 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Sales volume fell 3 percent as prices rose. Sales volume for its five core brands declined 6 percent on higher pricing and fewer promotions. 7UP and Sunkist both were down at a high-single-digit rate, while A&W declined at a mid-single-digit rate and Sun Drop declined at a double-digit rate. The Canada Dry brand saw sales grow.

Net income rose to $179 million, or 84 cents per share, from $154 million, or 71 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding commodity-related accounting gains, earnings were 79 cents per share. On that basis, analysts, on average, expected 77 cents per share.

(Reporting by Martinne Geller in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and John Wallace)

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