Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Bull of the Day: Campbell Soup (CPB)

Read MoreHide Full Article

Campbell Soup Company (CPB - Free Report) delivered a beat-and-raise quarter for their fiscal 2023 Q1 results in early December, and estimates have pushed up since making the stock a Zacks #1 Rank again.

FY'23 ends in July and analysts boosted estimates to EPS of $2.99 for 5% growth. More impressive, the FY'24 consensus rose from $3.06 to $3.16 for 5.8% growth.

My colleague Derek Lewis profiled Campbell's in his December 22 article This Top Consumer Staples Stock Is Pushing 52-Week Highs and here's what he had to say...

Consumer Staples stocks can generate revenue in all economic situations thanks to consistent product demand, explaining why the sector has performed better than most YTD.

A big-time company residing in the realm, Campbell Soup, is seeing its shares march toward 52-week highs, undoubtedly a major positive.

Derek's article has plenty of charts and graphs that illustrate the staying power of America's staple soup so be sure to dig in.

First Quarter Highlights

Taking into account its solid results that reflect continued demand and enhanced supply chain execution, management raised its fiscal 2023 net sales, adjusted earnings Before Interest and Taxes (EBIT) and adjusted earnings per share (EPS) view. The outlook also reflects the dynamic economic environment.

In the quarter, the company generated $10 million in savings under its multi-year cost-saving program, including Snyder’s-Lance synergies, bringing total program-to-date cost savings to $860 million. Management remains on track to deliver savings worth $1 billion by fiscal 2025-end.

Adjusted earnings from continuing operations increased 15% year over year to $1.02 per share, mainly reflecting a rise in adjusted EBIT and somewhat offset by a rise in the adjusted effective tax rate. The metric surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 86 cents.

Net sales of $2,575 million increased 15% year over year and surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,427.5 million. Organic net sales grew 15% year over year. The upside can be attributed to brand strength, inflation-driven pricing and continued supply recovery.

The company’s adjusted gross profit rose to $829 million from $727 million reported in the year-ago quarter. Adjusted gross profit margin contracted 30 basis points (bps) to 32.2% due to continued cost inflation and increased other supply chain costs as well as unfavorable volume/ mix. Nevertheless, inflation-driven pricing actions and productivity improvements offered some respite.

Adjusted EBIT grew 15% to reach $449 million mainly driven by increased adjusted gross profit. These were somewhat offset by rising marketing and selling expenses as well as increased adjusted other expenses.

Segmental Analysis

Meals & Beverages: Net sales increased 15% year over year to $1,455 million. Organic sales also rose 15%, mainly due to a rise in U.S. retail products that include U.S. soup and Prego pasta sauces and benefits from foodservice. Inflation-driven pricing, sales allowances and reduced promotional spending were somewhat mitigated by volume declines. Sales of U.S. soup increased 11% led by a sales rise in ready-to-serve soups, condensed soups and broth. Operating earnings in the unit jumped 18%.

Snacks: Net sales in the division rose 15% (also organically) to $1,120 million. The upside can be attributed to sales of power brands which rose 21%. Sales growth was fueled by a rise in cookies and crackers, specifically Goldfish crackers and in salty snacks, Snyder's of Hanover pretzels as well as Kettle Brand and CapeCod potato chips.

Inflation-driven pricing and sales allowances were somewhat offset by soft volume and higher promotional spending. Segmental operating earnings increased 20%.

Other Financial Details

As of Oct 30, 2022, Campbell's total cash and cash equivalents stood at $130 million, long-term debt was $3,994 million, and total equity amounted to $3,469 million. CPB generated $227 million as cash flow from operations for three months ended Oct 30, 2022. Capital expenditure amounted to $77 million in the said period.

Management paid $115 million of cash dividends and bought back nearly $41 million in the reported quarter. At the end of the first quarter, it had nearly $375 million remaining under its current $500-million share repurchase plan and almost $131 million remaining under its $250 million anti-dilutive share repurchase plan.

Fiscal 2023 Guidance

For fiscal 2023, the company now expects 7-9% net sales growth, with 7-9% organic sales growth. Earlier, management had expected 4-6% net sales growth, with 4-6% organic sales growth for fiscal 2023. Adjusted EBIT is now forecast to be up 2.5-6.5% compared with the previous view of 1-5% growth. Adjusted EPS is now envisioned to be up 2-5% to come in at $2.90-$3.00. Earlier, adjusted EPS was projected to be flat to up 4%.

Bottom line on CPB: Investors will likely continue to rotate money into safter areas of the market and solid consumer staple brands like Campbell Soup should be beneficiaries.

See More Zacks Research for These Tickers

Normally $25 each - click below to receive one report FREE:

Campbell Soup Company (CPB) - free report >>

Published in