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Thursday, 13 February 2014 10:39

PepsiCo 4Q performance tops Street, hikes dividend

PURCHASE, N.Y. (AP) - Soda and snack maker PepsiCo says its fourth-quarter net income climbed 5 percent, helped by higher prices and improved volumes. The company, which owns Gatorade, Quaker Oats and other products, also announced a five-year, $5 billion cost-saving program. It also plans to increase cash returns to shareholders in 2014 to $8.7 billion through higher dividends and stock buybacks. PepsiCo Inc.'s annual dividend will be raised by 15 percent, starting in June. For the period ended Dec. 28, the company earned $1.74 billion, or $1.12 per share. That compares with $1.66 billion, or $1.06 per share, a year ago. Excluding charges and other items, earnings were $1.05 per share. Analysts expected $1 per share. Revenue rose 1 percent to $20.12 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $20.1 billion.