PepsiCo, Abbott Labs Post Mixed Quarters and 3 More Hot Stocks

PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE:PEP): Pepsi reported earnings per share of $1.24, beating by 7 cents, with revenue of $16.91 billion, which missed by $0.12 billion. Organic revenue rose 3.9 percent during the third quarter, snack volume rose by 3 percent, and beverages gained 1 percent. Organic volume fell 4 percent in the PepsiCo Americas Beverage unit; higher prices only partially offset the difference. On a positive note, new management strategies helped lift Pepsi’s gross margin rate by 70 bps during the quarter.

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Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT): Abbott Labs reported EPS of 55 cents, beating projections by 3 cents, while revenues of $5.73 billion fell slightly off, by $0.09 billion. Global sales rose 4.3 percent for the third quarter, excluding currency impact, and 2 percent on a reported basis; a supplier recall reduced sales by an estimated 2 percent. The quarterly dividend was raised by 57 percent to 22 cents per share; Abbott also reaffirmed its full-year 2013 guidance.

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Advance Auto Parts (NYSE:AAP): Advance Auto confirmed speculations that it will be purchasing General Parts for $2.04 billion; investors are apparently happy with the move and have sent Advance’s stock up 16 percent. The deal should generate annual synergies in excess of $160 million within three years of closing, and will provide “significant 2014 cash EPS accretion of more than 20 percent,” excluding one-time charges to obtain those synergies, Seeking Alpha reports.

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Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE:ALU): Alcatel’s future is looking uncertain, and the troubled company “could disappear,” according to CEO Michel Combes, as French workers protested the job cuts being made by the company. Six turnaround plans later, Alcatel is still struggling. ”I don’t plan on there being a seventh” restructuring plan, Combes told the French parliament’s economic affairs committee. “I’m convinced that we have a plan that is coherent, that is complete, that addresses all the problems the company is facing and can get it back on its feet.”

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Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKA): Berkshire’s Marmon Group has agreed to acquire engineering company IMI PLC’s beverage dispense and merchandising operations for 690 million pounds ($1.1 billion). IMI, which produces valves for drink dispensers (making up about 14 percent of its business), has been struggling as major customers have held back capital expenditure and deferred orders, Reuters reports.

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