Recasts throughout with shares, estimates

Oct 8 (Reuters)Domino’s Pizza Inc DPZ.N reported a smaller-than-expected profit on Thursday, as high COVID-19-related costs and staff bonuses offset a jump in demand for pizzas during the coronavirus crisis.

Shares of the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based company, which have risen about 47% this year, were down about 5% before the bell.

The world’s largest pizza chain has thrived during the health crisis as diners staying at home craved more comfort food, but that came at a cost for the company, which spent millions on hiring more staff, bonuses, sick-pay policies and sanitary supplies.

Still, sales at Domino’s U.S. stores open for more than a year rose 17.5% in the third quarter ended Sept. 6, exceeding Wall Street estimates of 13.14%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

The resumption of sports leagues such as the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League has also boosted demand for pies and chicken wings.

Domino’s has been focusing on tech innovations and has also broadened its menu with additions such as chicken tacos and cheeseburger pizzas in order to keep its customers from switching to rivals McDonald’s MCD.N, Papa John’s PZZA.O and Pizza Hut YUM.N, among others.

The company reported net income of $99.1 million, or $2.49 per share, compared with $86.4 million, or $2.05 per share, a year earlier.

Wall Street analysts had forecast earnings of $2.79 per share.

General and administrative costs rose 9.5% to $91.7 million. The pizza chain spent $108.1 million, a 20.8% rise, on advertising in the United States in the quarter.

Total revenue rose 17.9% to $967.7 million, beating expectations of about $953 million.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni and Krishna Chandra Eluri)

(([email protected]; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S.

(Reuters) – Venezuela’s state-run Petroleos de Venezuela [PDVSA.UL] has boosted crude blending and upgrading to their highest levels in six months, according to company documents seen by Reuters on Wednesday, as exports rise despite strict U.S. sanctions.

The upgraders are crucial to converting extra-heavy oil from eastern Venezuela’s Orinoco belt – the OPEC nation’s largest-producing region – into exportable crude grades. But they have operated only intermittently in recent months due to a plunge in exports and technical issues linked to lack of maintenance.

On Tuesday, the Petropiar upgrader – part of a joint venture with Chevron Corp

– produced 115,000 barrels of Hamaca crude and the Sinovensa blending facility, operated along with China National Petroleum Corp [CNPET.UL], produced 158,000 barrels of Merey crude, a PDVSA document showed.

That was the highest joint level since March, as an increase in September’s exports to the highest level in five months allowed PDVSA to drain inventories, which had risen to near-capacity levels as U.S. sanctions spooked potential buyers.

The facilities have also been plagued by operational issues. On Sept. 30, the Petropiar upgrader stopped working two days after restarting due to an electrical outage prompted by a transformer explosion, the document showed. It has now operated continuously since Oct. 3.

The remaining three upgraders have been offline for well over a year. Petropiar had briefly switched to blending mode to produce the nation’s flagship export grade, Merey.

PDVSA did not respond to a request for comment.

It is not clear how long PDVSA will able to maintain current levels of exports and upgrader operations.

Washington – which is seeking to oust Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro – gave PDVSA’s customers deadlines of between October and November to schedule their last cargoes under the few remaining exemptions to its sanctions on the company.

(Reporting

By Sam Holmes and Colin Packham

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia pledged billions in tax cuts and measures to boost jobs on Tuesday to help pull the economy out of its historic COVID-19 slump in a budget that tips the country into its deepest deficit on record.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative government has unleashed A$300 billion in emergency stimulus to prop up growth this year, having seen the coronavirus derail a previous promise to return the budget to surplus.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday announced A$17.8 billion in personal tax cuts and A$5.2 billion in new programmes to boost employment in a recovery plan aimed at creating one million new jobs over the next four years.

Those measures are forecast to push the budget deficit out to a record A$213.7 billion, or 11% of gross domestic product, for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.

“There is no economic recovery without a jobs recovery,” Frydenberg said in prepared remarks to parliament. “There is no budget recovery without a jobs recovery.”

Australia’s unemployment rate hit a 22-year high of 7.5% in July as businesses and borders closed due to strict lockdown measures to deal with the coronavirus.

While the number of deaths and infections in Australia from COVID-19 has been low compared with many other countries, the hit to GDP has been severe. Underlying the budget forecasts was an assumption that a vaccine would be developed in 2021.

Australia’s A$2 trillion economy shrank 7% in the three months ended June, the most since records began in 1959.

In its new projections, the government expects unemployment to rise to 7.25% by the end of the current fiscal year and then fall to 6% by June 2023. Australia’s GDP is expected to shrink 1.5% for the current fiscal year before returning to growth

(RTTNews) – While reporting financial results for the first quarter of fiscal 2021 on Thursday, Conagra Brands, Inc. (CAG) provided only its adjusted earnings and organic net sales growth guidance for the second quarter of fiscal 2021.

The company is still not initiating annual outlook, as is usual, as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its full year fiscal 2021 consolidated results is uncertain.

The Company continues to expect demand in retail to remain elevated and demand in foodservice to remain challenged versus historical norms. However, the degree and timing of changes in retail and foodservice demand levels are difficult to predict with enough certainty to provide a full-year outlook at this time.

For the second quarter, the company expects adjusted earnings in a range of $0.70 to $0.74 per share and organic net sales growth of 6 to 8 percent.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report earnings of $0.71 per share on revenue growth of 4.0 percent to $2.93 billion for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

The company said it continues to see a significant increase in demand in its retail segments and also continues to see reduced demand in its Foodservice segment when compared to pre-COVID-19 demand levels. COVID-19-related costs have also continued to impact the business.

Looking ahead to the long-term algorithm, the company continues to project adjusted earnings for fiscal 2022 in the range of $2.66 to $2.76 per share and organic net sales growth at a 3-year CAGR ending fiscal 2022 of 1 to 2 percent. It also remains committed to achieving its leverage target of 3.5x to 3.6x by the end of fiscal 2021.

Additionally, the Company’s board of directors also approved a 29 percent higher quarterly dividend payment of $0.275 per share of

PepsiCo PEP posted stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings Thursday, and forecast solid full-year profits, as pandemic snack sales continued to pace top line growth. 

PepsiCo said earnings for the three months ending in August were pegged at $1.65 per share, up 5.8% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of $1.49 per share. Group revenues, PepsiCo said, rose 5.3% to $18.1 billion, again topping analysts forecasts of a $17.3 billion tally.

Looking into the final months of the year, PepsiCo said it sees core earnings of $5.50 per share, jumping ahead of the Refinitiv forecast of $5.36 per share.

“Despite the ongoing volatility and complexity in our operating environment, I believe our third quarter performance reinforces the diversification of our portfolio, the resilience and agility of our teams across every continent and demonstrates our ability to support our customers and communities during their time of need while also delivering good results for our shareholders,” said CEO Ramon Laguarta.“

“Our reported revenue increased 5.3%, while our reported earnings per share increased 10%,” he added. “Organic revenue increased 4.2% and core constant currency earnings per share increased 9%. These results reflect the continued strength of our global snacks and food business and a significant improvement in our global beverage business”

PepsiCo shares were marked 2.2% higher in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $141.65 each.

PepsiCo said revenues at its Frito Lay division rose 7% from last year, while the topline at Quaker Foods jumped 6%. Beverages said were 6% higher, the company said.

Source Article