PBG raises guidance

Things are looking up for the soft drink industry, Pepsi Bottling Group reported in its second-quarter and full-year earnings guidance today. The Somers, N.Y.-based company has raised its earnings guidance, and says it expects to deliver comparable diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.70 to $0.74 in the second quarter, a $0.05 increase from its previous guidance range.
 
For the full-year, PBG expects comparable diluted EPS in the range of $2.30 to $2.40, up $0.10 from the company's previous forecast. The company also raised its full-year operating free cash flow guidance by $25 million to $525 million.
 
The company says its revised outlook is based on improved carbonated soft drink performance in the United States, decreased volatility in foreign currencies, and continued commodity cost deflation.
 
"PBG's strong start to the year has continued in the second quarter," said PBG Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Eric Foss in a statement. "Improving fundamentals in our U.S. and Canada business, coupled with the success of our global pricing strategy, are producing solid results. We're also delivering significant cost and productivity savings and superior execution at the point of sale. At the same time, we're beginning to see favorable trends within our sector as well as in the commodity and foreign currency markets. As a result, our performance continues to exceed our expectations and we are raising our guidance."
 
"Our focus for the balance of the year and beyond will remain on strengthening our brand portfolio, transforming our performance through operational excellence, and pursuing geographic growth opportunities," he added. "As global economies recover and the liquid refreshment category rebounds, PBG will be well positioned to win in the marketplace and create shareholder value."

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