CEO Departure Overshadows Bright Earnings at Campbell

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Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) released its most recent earnings before the markets opened on Friday, as well as some news that was hard for investors to swallow. Despite results meeting and beating expectations, shares slumped following the announcement that the CEO would be abruptly leaving the company.

The soup-maker said that it had $0.70 in earnings per share (EPS) on $2.13 billion in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for $0.61 in EPS on revenue of $2.14 billion, and in the same period of last year, Campbell said it had EPS of $0.59 and $1.85 billion in revenue.

Organic sales were comparable to the prior year as gains in Global Biscuits and Snacks and Campbell Fresh segments were offset by declines in Americas Simple Meals and Beverages segments.

Looking ahead to the 2018 fiscal full year, the company expects to see EPS in the range of $2.85 to $2.90 and net sales growing between 11% and 12%. The consensus estimates call for $3.13 in EPS on $8.76 billion in revenue.

Campbell’s segments reported as follows:

  • Americas Simple Meals and Beverages had net sales of $1.01 billion.
  • Global Biscuits and Snacks had net sales of $862 million.
  • Campbell Fresh had net sales of $251 million.

As for the transition in leadership, Denise M. Morrison, president, chief executive and a director, has chosen to retire effective immediately. Keith R. McLoughlin, a Campbell board member since 2016, has been named interim CEO and will remain a member of the board to facilitate an orderly transition.

Shares of Campbell Soup were last seen down over 11% at $34.66 on Friday, with a consensus analyst price target of $45.60 and a 52-week range of $34.35 to $59.14.