company gave a full-year adjusted earnings forecast that was
also short of analysts' estimates, helping send its shares down
more than 4 percent in premarket trading on Thursday.
Campbell Soup's Bolthouse Farms unit was pressured in the
quarter by higher carrot costs and lower sales of carrots and
carrot ingredients as well as a recall of protein drinks in
The unit is part of the Campbell Fresh business, which sells
fresh and organic foods. Operating profit at the Campbell Fresh
business plunged 62 percent in the quarter ended July 31.
Sales in the business fell 5 percent, declining for the first
time since the company started breaking out results of the
business last year under a revamped operating structure.
"The performance of our Campbell Fresh business, driven
predominantly by execution issues, is disappointing," Chief
Executive Denise Morrison said. "I am not pleased with the
results of our fourth quarter."
The net loss attributable to Campbell Soup was $81 million due
to a $141 million pre-tax impairment charge related to Bolthouse
Farms. The company earned $17 million a year earlier.
Excluding items, Campbell Soup earned 46 cents per share in the
latest quarter, below analysts average estimate of 50 cents,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Net sales dipped 0.35 percent to $1.69 billion, but was in line
with analysts' estimates.
Demand for Campbell Soup's processed foods has weakened as
consumers increasingly shift to fresh foods and items perceived
In response, the company expanded its organic and fresh food
product lines, in part through the acquisitions of Bolthouse
Farms and salsa maker Garden Fresh Gourmet. The Campbell Fresh
business accounted for about 13 percent of sales in the quarter.
Campbell Soup was taking steps to ensure the business performed
to its potential, Morrison said.
The company also forecast adjusted earnings of $3.00 to $3.09
per share for the year ending July, below the average analyst
estimate of $3.14.
(Reporting by Sruthi Ramakrishnan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio
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