Campbell Soup EPS Drops as Promotions Sap Revenue

Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) reported earnings of 82 cents per share for the quarter ending Oct. 31, down from 87 cents per share a year earlier.

Sales for the first quarter of fiscal 2011 dropped 1% to $2.17 billion, the company said in a statement. Higher promotional spending hurt sales, the company said.

Sales of soups in the U.S. dropped 5%.

"The key negative factor impacting our first-quarter results in U.S. soup was the performance of our ready-to-serve and condensed eating soups, where increased promotional spending did not produce the planned volume gains," CEO Douglas Conant said.

"This was due in part to even steeper promotions by competitors, which we chose not to match," Conant said.

The company forecasts net sales to grow 1% - 3% in fiscal 2011, with earnings per share rising 2% to 4%.

"In the second half, we plan to place greater focus on advertising and brand-building initiatives in our marketing efforts, as we adjust our promotional activity to achieve improved price realization," Conant said.

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