Why Campbell Soup Is Surviving the Market Carnage

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Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) released fiscal first quarter financial results before markets opened Tuesday. The company posted $0.79 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.69 billion in revenue. Thomson Reuters consensus estimates were calling for $0.70 in EPS and $2.67 billion in revenue. The same period from last year had $0.92 in EPS and $2.16 billion in revenue.

During the quarter, sales increased 25% reflecting a sizeable benefit from the recent acquisitions of Snyder’s-Lance and Pacific Foods. Organic sales declined 3% driven primarily by higher promotional spending, including a negative impact from the adoption of new accounting guidance for revenue recognition, as well as lower volume.

In the first quarter of fiscal 2019, Campbell Soup adopted new accounting guidance for revenue recognition which impacts the timing of expense related to promotional programs. The impact from the adoption of this guidance is not expected to be material on an annual basis.

Looking ahead to the fiscal 2019 full year, the company expects to see net sales in the range of $9.975 billion to $10.10 billion with EPS in the range of $2.45 to $2.53—note that these numbers are pre-divestitures. Pro forma guidance assuming divestitures puts net sales in the range of $7.925 billion to $8.05 billion and EPS in the range of $2.40 to $2.50.

Either way consensus estimates are calling for $2.42 in EPS and $9.91 billion in revenue for the coming fiscal year.

Keith McLoughlin, Campbell’s interim President and CEO commented:

We are on track with our plans and are encouraged by the progress we are making against the significant actions we announced on August 30th to simplify, focus and optimize our portfolio. Through considerable cross-functional efforts in October, we were able to overcome the supply chain challenges that we faced early in the quarter and deliver results that enabled us to reaffirm our fiscal 2019 guidance.

Shares of Campbell Soup were last seen up about 6% at $40.88, with a consensus analyst price target of $36.53 and a 52-week range of $32.63 to $51.07.