Campbell Soup beats profit and sales expectations, but stock falls

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Shares of Campbell Soup Co. fell 1.4% in premarket trading Thursday, although the canned soup, snacks and simple meals company reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit and sales that topped forecasts. The company swung to net income of $86 million, or 28 cents a share, from a loss of $8 million, or 3 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Excluding non-recurring items, such as restructuring charges and pension adjustments, adjusted earnings per share rose to 63 cents from 42 cents, beating the FactSet consensus of 60 cents. Sales rose 18% to $2.11 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $2.06 billion. Meals & beverages sales rose 28% to $1.02 billion, above the FactSet consensus of $960.3 million, and snacks sales grew 11% to $1.09 billion to top expectations of $1.08 billion. For the fiscal first quarter, the company expects adjusted EPS of 88 cents to 92 cents, surrounding the FactSet consensus of 89 cents, and sales to rise 5% to 7%, while the current FactSet consensus of $2.29 billion implies 4.9% growth. The stock has gained 6.1% year to date through Wednesday, while the SPDR Consumer Staple Select Sector ETF has tacked on 6.1% and the S&P 500 has advanced 10.8%.
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