Financial analysis and comparison of PepsiCo and Coca-Cola

Last Updated: 13 Jan 2021
Essay type: Analysis
Pages: 7 Views: 996
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Together both PepsiCo and Coca Cola are both companies that are known around the world for their goods. For decades now, these companies have been competitive against each other to “do better than” the other one, what some would call the “cola wars”. They individually offer a assortment of soft drinks; regular, diet, caffeine free and many other options for the public to choose from. Both of the companies also have quite a few different entities (or off springs) of their company, such as bottled water, energy drinks, and juices. Individually both PepsiCo and Coca Cola; better known as Pepsi and Coke, have produced goods for every income bracket.

Inside this essay we will take a look into the two largest competing companies in the soft drink industry; Coca Cola and PepsiCo. Using financial data provided from 2004 and 2005, we will be able to use financial analysis, both vertical and horizontal, to verify the financial differences between the two companies. We should be able to make proper suggestions and recommendations with the review on both of the individual companies, income statements and balance sheets.

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The soft drink industry is one of the largest and assorted industries in the world; consumption in the United States alone is rated at 95%. Together Pepsi and Coke have dominated the soft drink industry, staying higher than any other competition for decades. Not only have they dominated the national market, but also have dominated the global market. Pepsi and Coke have triumphed over many obstacles, so that they may produce and distribute products in most countries around the globe. Both employ a strategy called “the follow up strategy”. When one launches a new product or service, the other is not far behind with a similar product or service. This strategy has been so effective within these two companies that it leaves other would be competitors oblivious to what just happened.

Because of global success, both PepsiCo and Coca Cola have paid a price in one way or another regarding legal issues, precedents, and political opinions. Both of these companies are great examples that the power of influence is leadership. Since their influence is so powerful, they easily shut down competitors in the market as well as keep their moral and ethical values at a soaring level.

According to the Forbes Super500 list of America’s largest public companies in 2003, both Coke and Pepsi are practically the same size. Pepsi was the 43rd-largest U.S. firm, just barely edging out Coke, which ranked 44th. This comparison was based on ranking sales, profits, market value and assets. Now let’s take a look at a more detailed comparison of these two companies. Within this analysis, the numbers will be represented in millions (100 is equal to 100 million).

Beginning with a vertical analysis, used to do the comparison of the asset accounts categories, liability account categories, and the reports on liability accounts against asset accounts on the balance sheet. The principle for calculating a vertical analysis is current assets ? total assets. The starting point lies within the total assets for each company. In 2004, PepsiCo’s total assets were $27,987; in 2005 they totaled $31,727. Coca Cola’s assets were $31,441 for 2004 and $29,427 in 2005. (Weygandt, Kimmel, & Kieso, 2008).

Now we must look at statistics on the balance sheets of each corporation. In 2004, Coke’s cost of merchandise sold were $7,674 equaling a ratio percentage of 24.4% of their total assets. In 2005 the cost of merchandise sold were $8,195 equaling 27.8% of the total assets. For Pepsi’s cost of merchandise sold, the totals were $12,674 equaling 45.3% in 2004 and $14,176 equaling 44.7% in 2005. Over a one year p the results of; PepsiCo had an increase of 5%, while Coke had an increase that year of 3.4%. With this increase, the results do not necessarily mean a positive analysis, since the single figure does not disclose whether the increase is a positive measure. A higher cost of sales may not be offset by higher revenues matching or exceeding the increased cost. Net income of PepsiCo in 2004 was $4,212 equaling a ratio percentage of 15.1% of total assets. In 2005, their net income was $4,078 equaling a ratio percentage of 13.2% of their total assets. This shows a 1.9% decrease in their net income between 2004 and 2005. Within the same period they also showed a decrease in the cost of sales. Coke on the other hand had a net income of $4,847 in 2004 equaling a ratio percentage of 15.4%. In 2005 their net income was $4,872 equaling a ratio of 16.6% of their total assets. This shows and an increase of 1.2% between 2004 and 2005. Even though they experienced an increase of 1.2%, the increase of cost of merchandise sold had an increase of 3.4% only nets an additional 1.2%, making this a negative indication for Coca Cola.

When comparing current assets and current liabilities to the total assets by taking a closer look at the consolidated balance sheets of these two companies for each year show that Pepsi’s total current assets were $8,639, in 2004, which equals a ratio percentage of 30.9% of total assets (for that year). For 2005, PepsiCo’s total current assets were $10,454 which equals a ratio percentage of 32.9% of total assets. From 2004 to 2005, they had an increase of 2% in their current assets. In contrast Coca Cola’s current assets were $12,281 equaling a ratio percentage of 39.1% for 2004 and $10,250 equaling a ratio percentage of 34.8%, in 2005; this shows a major decrease in their current assets. Although, there was a considerable decrease in their current assets, there was also a decrease in their current liabilities. These decreases in liabilities would be a positive indication for Coke instead of a negative one.

In the area of current liabilities, we can see that in 2004 Pepsi’s total was $6,752 equaling 24.1%, and $9,406 equaling 29.9% in 2005. This shows that the increase of 2% within Pepsi’s assets is due to the company taking on more liabilities. Coke however had current liabilities of $11,133 equaling 35.4% in 2004, and $9,836 equaling 33.4% in 2005 which shows a decrease of 1% in their liabilities. This simply states that both companies had a larger percentage of liabilities to assets in 2005, compared to 2004 also taking into account that their current assets dropped 4.3%. To break that down even further, we look at the following figures. Coca Cola had a total liability in 2004 of $15,506 which equals 49.3% and in 2005 their total liabilities were $13,072 which equals 44.4%. That is a decrease in their liabilities of 4.9%. So while their assets dropped by 4.3%, their liabilities dropped even more.

Horizontal analysis is the comparison of specific items account for a certain amount of numbers for the accounting period. This helps to determine the increase or decrease that has occurred by a percentage, a numerical change or trends over that time. There are two formulas that can be used to get this analysis. The first formula uses the current year amount and subtracts from that the base year amount, then take the difference and divide it by the base year amount. The second formula divides the current year amount by the base year amount. This gives the current yearly figure in a percentage for the given base year. PepsiCo’s total current assets for 2004 were $8,639 and $10,454 in 2005. The first horizontal analysis formula shows Pepsi had an increase of 121.01% of total current assets; over their 2004 base year figure. Coke’s total assets for 2004 were $12,281 and $10,250 for 2005 which shows a considerable loss. With these numbers it produces a loss percentage of 16.58% between 2004 (83.46%) and 2005.

Moving onto liabilities, Coca Cola had $11,133 in total liabilities for 2004 and $9,836 for 2005, yielding a difference of 88.35% decreasing their liabilities by 11.65% from 2004 to 2005. For PepsiCo, their total liabilities for 2004 were $6,752 and $9,406 in 2005. Following the formula we can see that it shows an increase in their liabilities by 139.3% from 2004 to 2005, so for one year the total is 39.9%.

Mutually PepsiCo and Coca Cola have reputations for being the major contenders in the soft drink industry. They have individually created well organized, strong, and profitable companies, but as you can see from the analysis done above that the financial data, shows a bit of a difference between the two financially. I can see adjustments that can be made and areas that can be worked on, and below I have made a few suggestions for the data I found. It can be determined from the information above that the net profits for both companies were less in 2005 than that of 2004. The operating expenses for both companies were higher in 2005 then 2004. Individually Pepsi and Coke should be working to decrease operation expenses and to increase profitability. Within Coca Cola, they suffered a decline in assets (4.3%) and their liabilities reduced by 4.9% from 2004 to 2005. The suggestion that I make for Coca Cola is they continue to reduce their liabilities, and work on raising net profits. This will increase their assets, As for Pepsi, they have a small increase in current assets between 2004 and 2005, but they had a substantial increase in liabilities. With a 5.8% increase in liabilities, there was only an increase of 2% within their assets. A suggestion I can make for PepsiCo is to focus efforts on their assets, to reduce their liabilities, and to not collect new liabilities. This way they can increase profitability.

Looking into other years and comparisons, I see that Coca Cola gathers almost 53% of their annual revenue during spring and summer, whereas Pepsi seems to produce 30% more revenue in the later months of the year. This is likely due to the fact that Pepsi also has snack (chips, etc) operations other than soft drinks, which is the preferred food of the season.

There is also the topic of franchise systems. Pepsi has had success in the past with its franchise system; however, in recent years it has become a weakness for the company. The franchises influence profits and revenues for Pepsi. My solution would be to dismantle the franchise system and replace it with one bottling unit. This will help Pepsi to eliminate competition with any private label companies and keep them on the forefront with Coke. Coca Cola believes in reinvesting into their infrastructure and does not operate a franchise system.

When it comes to figures, Pepsi seems to have more advantages (other entities), whereas Coke is getting better figures. This does not mean either company is better than the other, it shows that there is a tight competition between both companies and both are striving to surpass the other.


  1. (2009). Retrieved on: April 15, 2011
  2. Weygandt, J. J., Kimmel, P. D., & Kieso, D. E. (2008). Financial accounting (6th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
  3. The Coca Cola Company. (2009). Retrieved on: April 15, 2011

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Financial analysis and comparison of PepsiCo and Coca-Cola. (2019, Mar 29). Retrieved from

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