Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) reported adjusted fourth quarter 2012 earnings per share (EPS) of $0.41 on $1.61 billion in sales before markets opened today. In the same period a year ago, the food producer reported EPS of $0.43 on revenue of $1.61 billion. First-quarter results compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.38 and $1.60 billion in revenue.
For the new fiscal year, Campbell expects sales growth of 10% to 12% and adjusted EPS growth of 3% to 5%, to $2.51 to $2.57. The consensus estimate for full year 2013 EPS is $2.52 on revenue of $8.49 billion. The company’s full year 2012 revenue came in a $7.71 billion, inline with the consensus estimate.
The company’s president and CEO said:
While we’ve had some important accomplishments this year, we also recognize that driving change at Campbell will require a sharper focus on execution. Our strategic framework is a roadmap to drive disciplined and successful change at Campbell. We will continue to enhance and grow our core business, while we broaden our appeal with new consumer groups, new product platforms and new geographies.
Gross margin for the quarter slid by 1.3% to 38.5%, as a result of higher costs and increased promotional activity. Campbell was able to offset some of the higher costs by charging higher prices and making productivity improvements. Full-year gross margin was down 1.4% to 38.8%.
Shares are up nearly 5% in premarket trading at $36.89, which would be a new 52-week high if it holds. The current 52-week range is $29.93 to $35.60. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of $33.93 before today’s results were announced, although shares closed at $35.14 last Friday.