* 1st-qtr earnings 53 cts/shr tops Wall St view 46 cts/shr
* Stands by 2013 forecast
* Shares rise 2.5 percent
April 24 Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc
reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Wednesday,
helped by productivity improvements and the launch of its
10-calorie sodas, sending its shares up in morning trading.
The No. 3 U.S. soft-drink maker competes with much larger
companies Coca-Cola Co and PepsiCo Inc with a
broad array of sodas such as Canada Dry, 7UP, Dr Pepper and
Sunkist. While overall soda sales in the United States have been
declining for years, flavored sodas sometimes outperform cola
due to their uniqueness.
The company also stood by its full-year forecast, which
calls for earnings of $3.04 to $3.12 per share on sales growth
of 3 percent.
In the first quarter, net income was $106 million, or 51
cents per share, up from $102 million, or 48 cents per share, a
Excluding a loss related to commodity accounting, earnings
were 53 cents per share, topping analysts' average estimate of
46 cents, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
"Despite continued category headwinds, a fragile U.S.
consumer and abnormally cold weather across the Northeast and
Midwest, our business results remained solid for the quarter,"
said Chief Executive Larry Young.
Net sales rose 1 percent to $1.38 billion, after the company
sold more higher-priced drinks. Sales by volume fell 2 percent.
Dr Pepper Snapple shares were up 2.2 percent, or $1.07, at
$48.86 on the New York Stock Exchange.