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

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Campbell has surpassed the industry in the past six months, backed by its focus on buyouts, robust cost-saving efforts and recent strategic plans. The company is on track to sell non-key businesses like Campbell Fresh and increase focus on Campbell Snacks, and Campbell Meals and Beverages. Also, it is progressing well with its cost-savings plan, which generated savings worth $45 million during first-quarter fiscal 2019, wherein both top and bottom lines beat estimates. Sales were largely fueled by contributions from buyouts, while organic sales dropped owing to higher promotions and soft volumes. Volumes, in turn, were hurt by continued weakness in U.S. soup sales, which are likely to decline in fiscal 2019. Also, gross margin remained pressurized by elevated transport and logistic costs, and cost inflation, which along with high promotional spending is likely to dent gross margin in fiscal 2019.”

A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on CPB. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded Campbell Soup from a neutral rating to an underweight rating and set a $48.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Friday, August 10th. Wells Fargo & Co set a $42.00 target price on Campbell Soup and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Monday, August 20th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $35.00 target price on Campbell Soup and gave the stock a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, August 14th. UBS Group set a $30.00 price target on Campbell Soup and gave the stock a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, August 23rd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price target on Campbell Soup to $43.00 and gave the stock a sector perform rating in a research report on Thursday, August 23rd. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company. Campbell Soup has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $40.20.

CPB stock opened at $40.53 on Thursday. Campbell Soup has a fifty-two week low of $32.63 and a fifty-two week high of $51.07. The company has a current ratio of 0.69, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.65. The company has a market cap of $12.19 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.12, a PEG ratio of 2.77 and a beta of 0.13.

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, November 20th. The company reported $0.79 earnings per share for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.10. Campbell Soup had a return on equity of 53.81% and a net margin of 1.95%. The firm had revenue of $2.69 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.66 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business earned $0.92 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 24.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts expect that Campbell Soup will post 2.47 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 29th. Stockholders of record on Friday, October 12th were given a $0.35 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, October 11th. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.45%. Campbell Soup’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.78%.

In related news, insider Luca Mignini purchased 5,494 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 2nd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $36.41 per share, with a total value of $200,036.54. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 112,990 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,113,965.90. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Insiders own 37.20% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its position in Campbell Soup by 1.6% in the 2nd quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 80,449 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,267,000 after acquiring an additional 1,254 shares in the last quarter. Ffcm LLC lifted its position in Campbell Soup by 13.9% in the 3rd quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 11,241 shares of the company’s stock valued at $411,000 after acquiring an additional 1,368 shares in the last quarter. Intact Investment Management Inc. lifted its position in Campbell Soup by 28.0% in the 2nd quarter. Intact Investment Management Inc. now owns 6,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $260,000 after acquiring an additional 1,400 shares in the last quarter. US Bancorp DE lifted its position in Campbell Soup by 3.2% in the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 46,510 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,885,000 after acquiring an additional 1,421 shares in the last quarter. Finally, WINTON GROUP Ltd lifted its position in Campbell Soup by 25.9% in the 3rd quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 7,040 shares of the company’s stock valued at $258,000 after acquiring an additional 1,450 shares in the last quarter. 55.65% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Campbell Soup

Campbell Soup Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets branded food and beverage products. It operates through three segments: Americas Simple Meals and Beverages, Global Biscuits and Snacks, and Campbell Fresh. The Americas Simple Meals and Beverages segment engages in the retail and food service of Campbell's condensed and ready-to-serve soups; Swanson broth and stocks; Prego pasta sauces; Pace Mexican sauces; Campbell's gravies, pastas, beans, and dinner sauces; Swanson canned poultry products; Plum food and snack products; V8 juices and beverages; Campbell's tomato juices; and Pacific broth, soups, non-dairy beverages, and other simple meals.

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