Campbell (ticker: CPB) said it earned $1.02 a share on revenue that rose 7.2% year over year to $2.34 billion. Analysts were looking for EPS of 91 cents and revenue of $2.32 billion.
The company also said it would increase its dividend by 6%, or two cents, to 37 cents a share, payable Feb. 1.
For the second quarter, Campbell says it expects to earn between 81 and 83 cents a share, with revenue growth of 5% to 7%, bringing the total to a range of $2.27 billion to $2.31 billion. The consensus expectation on Wall Street was for EPS of 84 cents and revenue of $2.3 billion.
Campbell was down 1% to $47.80 in early trading. The shares have fallen 2.3% year to date. Futures on the
were 0.2% higher.
While packaged-food companies such as Campbell have gotten a boost from the Covid-19 crisis, many investors are worried about how quickly that could drop off post-pandemic. Therefore, while the company’s bottom line jumped 30% from the year-earlier period, and the dividend increase is a bullish sign, investors may have been more focused on the company’s outlook.
Campbell’s guidance did come in a bit shy of expectations, although not by much, and it could prove to be conservative. Perhaps more troubling for some might be the company’s organic sales—a key growth metric for consumer-staples firms—which climbed 8%. That’s a welcome reversal from the 1% decline the company notched in the year-earlier period, but a deceleration from the 12% it recorded in the prior quarter.
Sequential declines have been in focus this earnings season for consumer names. Investors are trying to assess how well companies are holding on to consumers they gained during the pandemic, and whether they are likely to do so after vaccines are widely available.
Write to Teresa Rivas at email@example.com