CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) — Campbell Soup's net income rose 27 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter on strong sales of soup and other simple meals in the U.S. The results beat analysts' expectations and the food maker gave fiscal 2013 revenue guidance above Wall Street's view.
Its stock climbed almost 5 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday.
The Camden, N.J., company earned $127 million, or 40 cents per share, for the period ended July 29. A year earlier it earned $100 million, or 31 cents per share.
Stripping out acquisition-related costs, earnings were 41 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by FactSet expected 39 cents per share.
Revenue was basically flat at $1.61 billion, but that beat Wall Street's $1.59 billion estimate.
Sales of simple meals — which includes sauces, soup and broths — increased 7 percent in the U.S. during the quarter, while soup sales for the region gained 9 percent. Condensed soup sales rose 14 percent, while broth sales climbed 4 percent. Sales of ready-to-serve soups edged up 1 percent, with sales of the "Campbell's Chunky" soups up slightly.
Sales of sauces rose 4 percent in the U.S. on better sales of Prego pasta sauces and Pace Mexican sauces. Sales for U.S. beverages climbed 3 percent, led by increased sales of "V8 Splash" and better sales of "V8 V-Fusion."
The global baking and snacking segment reported a 1 percent decline in sales, with sales of frozen products falling. Sales of Pepperidge Farm products and Goldfish snack crackers were strong.
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