Campbell Soup Co. (CPB: Quote) on Tuesday reiterated its financial outlook for fiscal 2012 and said it expects to return to sales and earnings growth in fiscal 2013. However, the company now expects its growth rates for fiscal 2013, before considering the positive impact of the Bolthouse Farms acquisition, to be lower than its long-term targets.
Ahead of a meeting with investors later in the day, Campbell Soup said that excluding acquisition costs associated with the planned purchase of Bolthouse Farms, it remains on track to deliver results consistent with its previous guidance for fiscal 2012. Campbell Soup also outlined progress on its growth strategies.
In early July, Campbell Soup said it agreed to buy food and beverage company Bolthouse Farms from a fund managed by private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC for $1.55 billion in cash.
For fiscal 2012, Campbell Soup maintained its forecast for sales growth near the low end of its previously forecast range of 0 to 2 percent; and adjusted earnings per share to decline at a level near the upper end of the previously forecast range of 5 to 7 percent.
On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to earn $2.40 per share for the year on revenues of $7.71 billion. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Campbell Soup said it expects to return to growth in sales, adjusted EBIT and adjusted net earnings per share in fiscal 2013.
However, the company now expects growth rates for fiscal 2013, before considering the positive impact of the Bolthouse Farms acquisition, to be below its long-term targets of net sales growth of between 3 and 4 percent, adjusted EBIT growth of between 4 and 6 percent, and adjusted net earnings per share growth of between 5 and 7 percent.
Analysts expect the company to report earnings of $2.51 per share for the year on revenues of $8.27 billion.
The maker of ready-to-serve soups, pastas and sauces said its growth strategies focus on profitably growing its North American soup and simple meals business, expanding its international presence, particularly in emerging markets, and continuing to grow its healthy beverages and baked snacks businesses.
Campbell Soup plans to introduce more than 50 new products in its U.S. Simple Meals business in fiscal 2013 - ranging from new varieties of "Chunky" and "Campbell's" condensed soups to new soups under the "Campbell's Go" platform and "Campbell's" Skillet Sauces.
In addition, Campbell Soup will highlight new advertising to promote enhancements to its line of "Chunky" soups with the return of its Mama's Boys campaign featuring NFL player Victor Cruz.
The company said it will outline fiscal 2013 plans for U.S. Beverages, including efforts to drive the "V8" 100% vegetable juice business and to further grow the "V8 V-Fusion" franchise.
Campbell Soup will introduce the first line extensions to "V8" 100% vegetable juice in nearly 10 years, and will also launch "V8 V-Fusion" Iced Teas in lemon and peach flavors, among other new product innovations.
In Tuesday's regular session, CPB is trading at $32.94, up $0.09 or 0.27 percent on a volume of 6,700 shares.
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by RTT Staff Writer
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