Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (NYSE:DPS) reported Tuesday that it had incurred $621 million losses in the fourth quarter due to heavy restructuring costs, severances and asset write-downs, nevertheless, asserting that its adjusted profit was higher than expected by Wall Street.
On a net basis, the soft drink maker reported a loss of $621 million, or $2.44 per share, in the fourth quarter, versus a net profit of $138 million, or 54 cents per share, a year ago.
The company expects full year 2009 net sales to decline 2% to 4%. Excluding the impact of the loss of Hansen product distribution and on a currency neutral basis the company expects comparable net sales to grow 2% to 4%.
The company will record a net one-time pre-tax gain of $51 million, or $0.12 per share, in the first quarter of 2009 related to the Hansen contract termination in the U.S. and Mexico. Excluding this item, the company expects earnings per share of approximately $1.59 to $1.67.
The full year tax rate is expected to be approximately 39% to 40% which includes approximately $16 million of charges related to items that are indemnified by Cadbury.
Unfavorable comparisons to prior year are expected to be more pronounced in the first half reflecting the impact of our stand-alone financial structure as well as a shift in marketing expenses to coincide with the timing of innovation and increased consumer communications. Additionally, the Easter holiday falls in the second quarter in 2009 versus the first quarter in 2008.
The company expects to make cash contributions of $43 million to its pension and post-retirement benefit plans in 2009.
Capital spending is expected to be approximately 5% of net sales.
The company remains committed to using its free cash flow to pay down debt and expects to reduce its debt obligations by at least $400 million, prepaying all of 2010 and part of 2011 principal.
Dr Pepper Snapple’s shares closed Wednesday at $15.51 and haven’t traded premarket. The stock is off just 4.6% so far this year, outperforming the broader market.
Image by picsaremine under Creative Commons.