Earnings Cheat Sheet: Dr. Pepper Snapple (DPS) Impresses The Street On Strong Snapple Sales

Dr. Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE: DPS) produces many well-known drinks, including Hawaiian Punch, Mott’s, its namesake brands and many more.  The company sports an $8.3 billion market cap and has beaten analyst estimates in eight of the past eleven quarters.

Shares are up  30% year-to-date.

Earnings: 3Q profits of $144 million ($0.60/share) vs. 3Q09 profits of $151 million ($0.59/share).  Excluding one-time items, earnings were $0.64/share.

Revenue: Up 1.6% YoY to $1.46 billion.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: DPS met analyst expectations in terms of EPS and came in just shy of revenue expectations of $1.47 billion.

Notable Stats: Overall sales volume rose 1% YoY, with non-carbonated drink volume up 2%.  Sales of DPS’ core four soda brands – 7 UP, Sunkist, A&W and Canada Dry, fell 1% YoY, while the higher-priced Snapple brand jumped 10%.

Sales volume rose 3% in the U.S. and 2% in Canada, but dropped 3% in Mexico and the Caribbean.

Gross margins fell to 58.8% from 59.6%.  Shares outstanding fell 5.9%.

Did You Hear That? Analysts at S&P lowered their 2010 estimates and took down their price target by $1 to $39, noting that, “expenses were somewhat better than [their expectations] on lower marketing costs,” adding that, “results should be boosted by a new agreement with Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO).”

Technicals: Shares of DPS broke downward through support levels dating back to May on 9/10, doing so on very high volume.  Since then, shares have remained mostly steady, breaking back up through the aforementioned support line, only to break downward once again.  While shares did break down below their 200-day moving average following the earnings release, they have since re-taken their 20-day, 50-day and 200-day lines, in addition to the old support line.  This indicates confidence on the part of the Street at current levels.

Commentary: DPS’ 3Q could have been better, but the 10% YoY gain out of its more expensive Snapple brand drinks was definitely something investors could hang their hat on.  Shares fell as much as 4.7% following the earnings release, but finished the day up 3%.  This indicates that analysts were upset with the initial numbers, but gained confidence as they delved deeper into the report.  Now carrying a 2.7% dividend, shares look somewhat enticing for those looking for some exposure to both the domestic and international consumer.

Disclosure: No holdings in DPS.