On August 23, rumors surfaced that Campbell's is considering making $2.3 billion bid for Britain's United Biscuits. United Biscuits was bought by private equity firms Blackstone Group and PAI Partners in 2006. Campbell's is supposedly more interested in the company's biscuit-making operation than its snack operation and may try to buy the former division only. The stock has risen more than 1.5% since the acquisiton rumors and is near the stock's 52-week high.
CPB reaffirmed its fiscal year 2009 earnings guidance of $2.19-$2.24 per share, pushing shares up before the end of the company's fiscal year on July 31.
Barclay's Bank downgraded the US packaged food sector as it sees less opportunities for earnings growth in the near future. Although commodities prices are falling, most food producers hedged in these costs at record highs, so they will not benefit from these lower prices until the hedging contracts expire.
Merrill Lynch & Co., worried about CPB's marketing expenditure, downgrades CPB from Buy to Netrual.
Campbell's fourth quarter income rose 46% an revenue grew 17%, 8% point of this growth can be attributed to an extra week in the fourth quarter. Though the company reported strong sales, margins slipped to 39.6% from 40.6% amid continued increases for ingredient costs.
The food manufacturer projected earnings growth, excluding special items, at the upper end of the 5% to 7% it had previously forecast despite rising commodity costs and a tough third quarter. Campbell also announced a large share buy back of 10% of outstanding shares
Campbell's fiscal third-quarter profit more than doubled on gains from selling its Godiva chocolate business, but the company struggled with higher costs and lower U.S. soup sales.
Campbell's released positive results from the Third Quarter. Campbell's reported a 31% rise in profits which sent stock share on an upward trend from $38.98 USD to $39.79 USD on June 1st.
Campbell's stock share jumped from $39.05 USD to $42.39 USD after Campbell's released its favorable Second Quarter results and raised its full year forecast for EPS growth.
Campbell's announces an 11.1% increase for its quarterly dividend from $0.18 USD to $.20. This sends stock on an upward trend until mid-December.