Dr Pepper Snapple Group: Earnings Preview

| About: Dr Pepper (DPS)
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Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE:DPS) is scheduled to report its second-quarter 2011 financial results before the opening bell on July 27, 2011. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate for the quarter is 77 cents a share. This represents a year-over-year estimated growth of 4.1%.

First-Quarter 2011 Summary

Dr Pepper Snapple reported first-quarter 2011 earnings of 50 cents per share, compared with 40 cents per share in the year-ago period. Quarterly earnings also topped the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 46 cents.

During the quarter, Dr Pepper's net sales grew 7.0% year over year to $1,331.0 million, surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,308.0 million.

Management Guidance

Moving forward, Dr Pepper guided its full-year 2011 adjusted earnings in the range of $2.70 to $2.78 per share on a 3% to 5% growth in net sales.

Agreement of Estimate

For the second quarter of fiscal 2012, out of 13 analysts covering the stock, none have revised their estimates upward, while 4 moved in the opposite direction in the last 30 days. For fiscal 2011, out of 14 analysts, positive and negative revisions were made by 1 analyst each in the last 30 days.

In the last 7 days, out of 13 analysts, 1 moved in the downward direction with no upward movement in estimate for the second quarter of fiscal 2011. For fiscal 2011, no movement in estimates has been noticed in either direction.

Magnitude of Estimate Revisions

With little effect from earnings revisions by analysts in the last 30 and 7 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimates for the second quarter of fiscal 2011 and fiscal 2011 have remained stagnant at 77 cents a share and $2.75 per share, respectively.

Surprise History

With respect to earnings surprises, Dr Pepper showed a favorable trend in the last four quarters. The company has recorded positive surprises in the trailing four quarters with a low of 0.0% and a high of 8.7%. On an average, the earnings surprise was a positive 6.9%. Based on the current flow, we expect the company to come up with healthy results in the upcoming quarter.

Our View

Dr Pepper is a leading manufacturer and distributor of non-alcoholic beverages in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. Moreover, the company commands a strong portfolio of well-established flagship brands, such as Dr Pepper, Snapple, 7UP, Mott's, Sunkist, A&W, Canada Dry, Schweppes, Hawaiian Punch, Squirt and Penafiel, all of which offer a strong competitive advantage to the company and strengthen its well-established position in the market.

Moreover, Dr Pepper's 22 manufacturing facilities and over 200 distribution centers are strategically located across North America. Moreover, the company's warehouses are located at or near the bottling plants and have 5,000 trucks for transportation purposes. These facilities enable the company to better align its operations with its customers, reduce transportation cost and have better control over the timing and management of new product launches.

Furthermore, Dr Pepper is in the midst of its Rapid Continuous Improvement (NYSE:RCI) program. Therefore, the company has been able to reduce its package changeover time at its Aspers plant by 72% from 87 minutes to 24 minutes. The program will give more flexibility to its plants to meet consumer demand and enable it to reduce inventory and storage costs.

However, Dr Peppers' financial performance may be substantially affected by its significant presence in the international market (Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean), which exposes it to unfavorable foreign currency translations, economic or political instability and other governmental actions on trade and repatriation of foreign profits.

Besides, the liquid refreshment beverage industry is highly competitive and continues to evolve in response to changing consumer preferences. Competition is generally based on brand recognition, taste, quality, price, availability, selection and convenience. The two big competitors in the liquid refreshment beverage market are The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) and Pepsico, Inc. (NYSE:PEP), each representing more than 30% of the U.S. liquid refreshment beverage market by volume.

Currently, Dr Pepper maintains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a short-term 'Hold' rating. Moreover, our long-term recommendation on the stock remains 'Neutral'.