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Campbell Soars to New High

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Shares of Campbell Soup Company (CPB - Free Report) soared to a new 52-week high of $42.23 on Tuesday, Mar 19, as the company continues to gain from a consistent positive earnings surprise trend, strong revenue growth and impressive management guidance. Average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months stands at approximately 1,918,550. Moreover, the stock currently trades at a forward P/E of 16.5x, at a slight premium from the peer group average of 16.2x.

This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) foods and simple meals manufacturer closed trade at $42.19 on Mar 19, representing a solid year-to-date return of approximately 17.5%, while gaining about 28.0% over the past one year.

Looking at its earnings surprise history, Campbell has beaten the Zacks Consensus Estimates consecutively in the past 8 quarters. The average positive surprise in the trailing 8 quarters comes to 7.1%.

The recent second-quarter fiscal 2013 results have added to its streak of upbeat performances. Campbell Soup posted earnings of 70 cents per share for second-quarter fiscal 2013, handily surpassing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 66 cents, which led to a surprise of 6.1%. Moreover, quarterly earnings surged 9% year over year, primarily driven by a 10.5% rise in the top line.

Looking ahead, the company continues to anticipate sales growth in the range of 10%–12% and earnings between $2.51 and $2.57 per share in fiscal 2013, reflecting an increase of 3%–5% from 2012 level. The current Zacks Consensus Estimate stands at $2.55 per share.

Apart from strong results, Campbell’s growth story looks compelling. We believe Campbell’s prudent investment and strategic initiatives toward product innovation and brand building will boost its customer base and profitability.

Besides Campbell, other stocks in the retail space that touched all-time highs in the recent weeks are Constellation Brands Inc. (STZ - Free Report) , The Clorox Company (CLX - Free Report) and Colgate-Palmolive Co. (CL - Free Report) .

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