Coca-Cola upside limited, PepsiCo to outperform in risk-off environments - Jefferies

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Coca-Cola upside limited, PepsiCo to outperform in risk-off environments - Jefferies
Credit: © Reuters.

Jefferies analysts initiated shares of Coca-Cola (NYSE: KO ) with a Hold rating and PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP ) with a Buy rating in separate notes to clients on Monday.

PepsiCo was given a $203 per share price target, with the analysts stating that the company is the most durable business in its coverage.

In addition, the firm believes PEP is the most likely to grow earnings in the high-single digits or better in the next three years.

"Hefty investments over the last half-decade are yielding results, and we expect returns to accelerate," said the analysts. "Frito is strong getting stronger, and beverage margins are set to expand. We expect PEP shares to outperform in risk-off environments, and long-term by compounding earnings ahead of peers."

KO was given a $64 price target, with Jefferies stating the company has momentum and its underlying fundamentals are strong.

There is a "long runway of growth fueled by RGM, with further upside for the yet to be unlocked potential of its Total Beverage Strategy," said the analysts.

They added that there is a lot to like. However, Jefferies believes that at the current valuation, the upside is limited "as the looming tax settlement ($24bn of equity at risk) may put a lid on shares, irrespective of the strength of their fundamentals."

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