Dr Pepper Snapple Posts Biggest 2-Day Stock Decline in More Than a Year

Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. posted its biggest two-day drop in almost two years as a Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst lowered his earnings projections for the third-largest U.S. soda maker, citing slowing sales.

Stifel’s Mark Swartzberg lowered his third-quarter profit estimate to 60 cents a share. This week, Chief Financial Officer Martin Ellen said sales at Dr Pepper, the maker of Crush soda and Snapple teas, may be “weaker” than expected in the second half as the U.S. economic recovery slows.

Those declines probably will lead Dr Pepper to lag behind peers such as PepsiCo Inc. and Coca-Cola Co., said Swartzberg, based in Florham Park, New Jersey. The shares surged 41 percent in the year through Sept. 8, more than double the rate for Coca- Cola and Pepsi, the two largest U.S. soft-drink makers.

Dr Pepper, based in Plano, Texas, fell 86 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $34.73 at 4:15 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. That brings the decline over two days to about 9 percent, the biggest since November 2008.

Analysts predict third-quarter earnings per share of 63 cents on average, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales may amount to $1.48 billion, based on those projections.

To contact the reporter on this story: Duane Stanford in Atlanta at dstanford2@bloomberg.net

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