Monday, November 22, 2010

Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB): Q1 Earnings Preview

Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE: CPB) is scheduled to release fiscal first-quarter earnings before the market open on Tuesday, November 23, 2010. Analysts, on average, expect the company to report earnings of 83 cents per share on revenue of $2.20 billion. In the year-ago period, the company reported earnings of 87 cents per share on revenue of $2.20 billion.

Campbell Soup Company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and marketing of branded convenience food products worldwide. The Company operates in four segments: U.S. Soup, Sauces and Beverages; Baking and Snacking; International Soup, Sauces and Beverages, and North America Foodservice. 

In the preceding fiscal-fourth quarter, the Camden, New Jersey-based company's net income was $113 million, or 33 cents a share, from $69 million, or 20 cents a share, in the year-earlier quarter. Revenue decreased 1% to $1.52 billion from $1.53 billion. Analysts, on average, expected the company to report earnings of 30 cents per share on revenue of $1.60 billion. 

Food industry experts believe soup has been losing out to other meals that are just as simple to prepare, such as macaroni and cheese and frozen pizza. In September, Campbellaimed to fire up its soup sales through a new major advertising campaign.

Early in October, the company lowered its fiscal 2010 guidance, citing falling demand and increased promotional spending. For the full year, including an estimated 1-point favorable impact from currency, Campbell estimates earnings per share growth of 2% to 4% from the fiscal 2010 adjusted base of $2.47. Full-year net sales are expected to grow 1% to 3%. The previous guidance was for adjusted earnings per share to grow in a range of 5% to 7% and revenue growth of 2% to 3% from last year's $7.68 billion.

For the first quarter, Campbell expects earnings per share to fall 6% from last year and earnings before interest and taxes, or EBIT, to be 7% lower. Net sales are expected to slip 1%.

Among other development, the company recently said that its Board of Directors has approved a 5% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.29 per share from $0.275 per share, effective in the second quarter of fiscal 2011.

In terms of stock performance, CPB shares have gained nearly 1 percent since the beginning of the year. 

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