Campbell Soup Q4 Profit Beats Estimates; Issues FY22 Outlook

Campbell Soup Company (CPB) reported fourth-quarter profit that topped Wall Street estimates. Organic net sales declined 4% year-on-year, driven by a 5% decrease in volume and mix primarily as a result of cycling both the elevated demand in food purchases for at-home consumption and the partial retailer inventory recovery in the prior year. Looking forward, Campbell Soup issued fiscal 2022 guidance, and said it expects the first quarter to be the most challenging. Also, the Board of Directors approved a $500 million strategic share repurchase program.

Fourth-quarter adjusted EBIT decreased 13% compared to the prior year to $267 million primarily due to sales volume declines, including the impact from the additional week in the prior-year quarter, and lower adjusted gross margin performance, partially offset by lower adjusted marketing and selling expenses and lower adjusted administrative expenses. Adjusted gross margin decreased 420 basis points to 31.4% as higher cost inflation and other supply chain costs were partially offset by supply chain productivity improvements and cost savings initiatives.

Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations decreased 13% to $0.55, primarily reflecting the decrease in adjusted EBIT, including an estimated $0.04 adjusted EPS impact from the additional week in fiscal 2020, partially offset by lower interest expense. On average, 16 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report profit per share of $0.48, for the quarter. Analysts’ estimates typically exclude special items.

Net earnings attributable to Campbell Soup Company increased to $288 million from $86 million, last year. Reported EPS from continuing operations was $0.95 compared to $0.28, prior year.

Fourth-quarter net sales decreased 11% year-over-year to $1.87 billion. Analysts expected revenue of $1.81 billion, for the quarter.

Fiscal 2021 adjusted earnings per share increased 1% to $2.98. Net sales decreased 2% and organic net sales were comparable to prior year.

For fiscal 2022, the company expects: adjusted earnings per share in a range of $2.75 to $2.85. Adjusted EBIT is projected to decline in a range of 8% to 5%. The company expects year-over-year EBIT margin improvement in the second half of the year. Organic net sales guidance is between a decline of 1% to an increase of 1%. Analysts expect the company to report profit per share of $2.87.

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