UPDATE: Bank of America Merrill Lynch Reiterates Neutral Rating, Raises PO on Campbell Soup Company
In a report published Wednesday, Bank of America Merrill Lynch reiterated its Neutral rating on Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB), and raised its price objective from $36.00 to $37.00.
BofA Merrill Lynch noted, “Adjusted EPS of $0.88 beat our $0.85 estimate, sourced from better than expected operating profits. The company is making some progress against the FY13 focus areas it set out in its July analyst day (Chunky, Australia) although there are areas in need of additional improvement (US Beverages, Select Harvest, Pepperidge Bakery). Highlights from the quarter: 1) RTS sales (+4.0%) and broth (flat) benefited from heightened merchandising activity and a buy-in ahead of the earlier than usual holiday season. This contributed to improving soup trends in the quarter and is expected to negatively impact 2Q; 2) Advertising and consumer promotional expenses were down -15% in the quarter due to reduced spending on US Soup, higher than our expectation but in line with management's plan for the year; 3) US Beverages (both volumes and profits) were lighter than we expected and some of the issues that afflicted this segment last year appear to be more lasting (price competition). Despite this, management seems hopeful that this segment will show improvement for the year.”
Campbell Soup Company closed on Tuesday at $36.21.
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