Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “Campbell Soup has lagged the broader industry in the last three months. The company is bearing the brunt of a tough macroeconomic scenario in the food industry, with soft consumption patterns. This, along with intense competition from e-commerce giants dented top-line in the third quarter. Also, continued softness in C-Fresh due to lingering constraints from the Bolthouse Farms product recall remains a concern. These factors led to a tweaked sales view for the fiscal. Estimates have been stable ahead of the fourth quarter earnings release. However, the company is on track with its strategic growth initiatives, through its focus on acquisitions aimed at strengthening its brand portfolio. Its strategy of concentrating on supply chain efficiencies, along with cutting costs is likely to drive growth. Campbell has generated solid results from its three-year cost savings program. This led management to raise the lower end of its EPS and EBIT views.”

A number of other analysts have also commented on CPB. Sanford C. Bernstein lowered shares of Campbell Soup from a “market perform” rating to an “underperform” rating and set a $54.00 price objective for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, March 21st. BidaskClub lowered shares of Campbell Soup from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Saturday, June 24th. Wells Fargo & Company reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $58.00 price objective (down from $62.50) on shares of Campbell Soup in a research note on Tuesday, May 23rd. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of Campbell Soup in a research note on Wednesday, May 24th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada set a $60.00 price objective on shares of Campbell Soup and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday. Six equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have assigned a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $57.46.

Shares of Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) traded up 3.26% during trading on Wednesday, reaching $52.65. 1,081,152 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged. The firm has a market capitalization of $15.96 billion, a PE ratio of 33.24 and a beta of 0.34. Campbell Soup has a 52 week low of $50.62 and a 52 week high of $66.74. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $54.32 and its 200 day moving average price is $57.97.

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Friday, May 19th. The company reported $0.59 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.64 by $0.05. Campbell Soup had a net margin of 6.17% and a return on equity of 59.83%. The business had revenue of $1.85 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.87 billion. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.65 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down .9% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts predict that Campbell Soup will post $3.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Campbell Soup declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock repurchase plan on Wednesday, March 22nd that authorizes the company to buyback $1.50 billion in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire up to 8.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

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A number of institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. IFP Advisors Inc increased its stake in shares of Campbell Soup by 2.3% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,472 shares of the company’s stock valued at $142,000 after buying an additional 55 shares during the last quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Campbell Soup by 19.2% in the first quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. now owns 2,535 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,000 after buying an additional 408 shares in the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp increased its stake in Campbell Soup by 7.0% in the first quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 3,122 shares of the company’s stock worth $179,000 after buying an additional 204 shares in the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. increased its stake in Campbell Soup by 2.8% in the first quarter. Whittier Trust Co. now owns 3,469 shares of the company’s stock worth $198,000 after buying an additional 94 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Vicus Capital increased its stake in Campbell Soup by 6.1% in the first quarter. Vicus Capital now owns 3,686 shares of the company’s stock worth $211,000 after buying an additional 213 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 43.92% of the company’s stock.

About Campbell Soup

Campbell Soup Company is a food company, which manufactures and markets food products. The Company’s segments include Americas Simple Meals and Beverages; Global Biscuits and Snacks, and Campbell Fresh. The Americas Simple Meals and Beverages segment includes the retail and food service channel businesses.

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