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PepsiCo eclipses Coca-Cola in market value

By Times Staff
Published December 13, 2005

PepsiCo Inc., the world's second-largest soft-drink maker, surpassed Coca-Cola Co. in market value for the first time after beating its competitor in sales growth and diversifying beyond soda.

Shares of PepsiCo have risen 14 percent this year through Monday, pushing the company's stock value to $98.4-billion. Coca-Cola shares have declined 1.2 percent, driving down the company's worth to $97.9-billion.

"Pepsi in the last five years has been a much more consistent performer than Coke," said Keith Patriquin, an analyst with Boston-based Loomis Sayles & Co., which owns 1.7-million PepsiCo shares. "The full-sugar carbonated-soft-drink category has not seen the growth of alternative beverages."

PepsiCo's sales have been lifted by demand for Gatorade sports drinks and Aquafina bottled water as well as reduced-calorie snacks including Baked Lay's potato chips. The company derives more than half of its total sales from snacks and less than 20 percent from soft drinks.

By contrast, Coca-Cola gets 82 percent of revenue from soft drinks and hasn't moved fast enough into bottled water and sports drinks as consumers shun carbonated beverages.

HP, DreamWorks collaborate on virtual conference rooms

Hewlett-Packard Co. on Monday jumped into the business of providing the technology - and building the rooms - for large companies to hold virtual face-to-face meetings regardless of the distance between participants.

HP's Halo Collaboration Studio offers a nearly immersive environment where people can see each other, talk and collaborate remotely as if they were in the same room. The underlying network, built and serviced by HP, minimizes delays and never crosses the public Internet.

Developed in partnership with DreamWorks Animation SKG LLC, the rooms are targeted at large corporations that are looking to cut down on the amount of time and money spent flying people to different locations. Each room costs roughly $550,000 with an $18,000 per month fee, though the charges vary with the number ordered.

DreamWorks Animation helped design the details of the rooms and will receive a royalty. Other financial details between the two companies were not disclosed.

--Information from Bloomberg News and the Associated Press was used in this report.

[Last modified December 13, 2005, 01:30:24]

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