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PepsiCo profits beat Wall Street expectations

PepsiCo continues to struggle with sales of its

PepsiCo continues to struggle with sales of its soda in the United States. (Feb. 13, 2013) Credit: Bloomberg

PepsiCo is selling more of its snacks and drinks around the world, even as the maker of Frito-Lay, Tropicana and Quaker Oats tries to figure out how to sell more soda in the United States.

Purchase-based Pepsi Thursday reported a first-quarter profit that beat Wall Street expectations as it saw strong growth in emerging markets and benefited from a lower tax rate.

PepsiCo's North American snacks unit also saw gain.

For its beverage unit in the Americas, however, revenue was flat as price hikes offset a drop in volume.

"The cola category continues to be a challenge," CEO Indra Nooyi noted in a conference call with analysts.

PepsiCo has significantly stepped up marketing for its namesake drink, including an endorsement deal with Beyoncé. But it's struggling to win back market share from Coca-Cola Co. at a time when Americans are cutting back on soda in favor of other beverages.

For the quarter, PepsiCo earned $1.08 billion, or 69 cents per share. That's down from $1.13 billion, or 71 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 1 percent to $12.58 billion, beating analysts' prediction of $12.54 billion.

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