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PepsiCo posts rise in profit, to return more cash to investors

PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi poses for a portrait by products at the Tops SuperMarket in Batavia, New York, June 3, 2013. REUTERS/Don Heupel

(Reuters) - PepsiCo Inc (NYS:PEP) reported a better-than-expected 5 percent rise in quarterly profit and said it would return about $2.3 billion (1.3 billion pounds) more to shareholders in 2014 in the form of share buybacks and dividend.

PepsiCo also said it was extending its $1 billion annual savings plan for another five years to 2019.

The Purchase, New York-based company said it planned to increase its cash return to shareholders by 35 percent this year to $8.7 billion.

The company said it expected to raise its share repurchase program to about $5 billion in 2014 and increased its annual dividend to $2.62 per share from $2.27 per share.

The maker of Pepsi-Cola, Cheetos, Quaker Oats and Tropicana juice said net income attributable to PepsiCo rose to $1.74 billion, or $1.12 per share, in the fourth quarter ended December 28 from $1.66 billion, or $1.06 per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, the company earned $1.05 per share.

Revenue rose marginally to $20.11 billion. Organic revenue increased 4.1 percent, helped by higher prices.

Snacks volumes rose 3 percent in the Americas, but beverage volumes slid 2 percent.

Analysts on average had expected earnings of $1.01 per share on revenue of $20.16 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

PepsiCo maintained its forecast of 7 percent growth in full-year adjusted earnings, which translates to $4.67 per share. Analysts on average were expecting $4.69 per share.

PepsiCo shares, which have risen about 12 percent in the 12 months to Tuesday's close, closed at $81.49 on the New York Stock Exchange.

The stock was up slightly in premarket trading.

(Reporting by Siddharth Cavale in Bangalore; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Kirti Pandey)