Campbell Soup (CPB) Upgraded to Hold by Zacks Investment Research

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

According to Zacks, “Campbell remains focused on getting its C-Fresh division back on growth track. Moreover, its focus on cost savings and core strategic imperatives are likely to drive growth in the long term. However, Campbell Soup has lagged the industry in the past year due to dismal top and bottom-line trends in recent quarters. The company’s first-quarter fiscal 2018 results marked the third consecutive quarter of negative earnings surprise with fourth-straight revenue miss. The underperformance was due to a volatile operating environment along with intense competition and fast evolving retail landscape. These have been straining the top line for a while now. Further, margins were under pressure driven by cost inflation, escalated supply chain expenses and adverse mix. Given a tough operating environment and anticipated rise in costs, the company trimmed earnings and adjusted EBIT guidance for fiscal 2018, while sales growth forecasts remained intact.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently commented on CPB. UBS Group dropped their price target on Campbell Soup from $46.00 to $42.00 and set a “sell” rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, November 9th. Citigroup reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $54.00 price target (up from $50.00) on shares of Campbell Soup in a research note on Wednesday, December 20th. Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price objective on Campbell Soup from $56.00 to $55.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a report on Monday, November 20th. Morgan Stanley decreased their price objective on Campbell Soup from $47.00 to $46.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 13th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $49.00 price objective on Campbell Soup and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, November 28th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $50.08.

Shares of Campbell Soup (CPB) traded down $0.08 on Tuesday, hitting $47.57. The stock had a trading volume of 1,478,232 shares, compared to its average volume of 2,276,387. Campbell Soup has a one year low of $44.99 and a one year high of $64.23. The company has a market cap of $14,290.00, a PE ratio of 16.63, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.73 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a quick ratio of 0.39, a current ratio of 0.77 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.34.

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 21st. The company reported $0.92 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.97 by ($0.05). Campbell Soup had a net margin of 11.08% and a return on equity of 56.88%. The firm had revenue of $2.16 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.17 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.00 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was down 1.9% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts anticipate that Campbell Soup will post 2.95 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Campbell Soup announced that its board has authorized a share buyback plan on Monday, December 18th that authorizes the company to repurchase shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

In related news, insider Edward Carolan sold 6,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.15, for a total value of $312,975.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 41,506 shares in the company, valued at $1,998,513.90. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Carlos Barroso sold 4,300 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $48.86, for a total value of $210,098.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 29,119 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,422,754.34. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 15,284 shares of company stock valued at $741,399 over the last 90 days. 37.20% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the business. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA grew its holdings in Campbell Soup by 45.3% during the 3rd quarter. Berkshire Asset Management LLC PA now owns 12,036 shares of the company’s stock worth $564,000 after acquiring an additional 3,750 shares during the period. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC grew its holdings in Campbell Soup by 3.2% during the 3rd quarter. Manning & Napier Advisors LLC now owns 1,201,707 shares of the company’s stock worth $56,262,000 after acquiring an additional 37,577 shares during the period. Northern Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in Campbell Soup by 235.8% during the 3rd quarter. Northern Capital Management LLC now owns 73,810 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,456,000 after acquiring an additional 51,830 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP grew its holdings in Campbell Soup by 15.7% during the 3rd quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 431,245 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,191,000 after acquiring an additional 58,407 shares during the period. Finally, ARP Americas LLC acquired a new stake in Campbell Soup during the 3rd quarter worth about $502,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 46.23% of the company’s stock.

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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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