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Why Is Campbell Soup Company (CPB) Stock Down Wednesday?

By Daniel Sparks - Feb 21, 2018 at 5:17PM

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Campbell management took the stage on Wednesday at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference.

What happened

Shares of food and beverage product company Campbell Soup (CPB -1.39%) fell as much as 7.1% on Wednesday. The stock finished the trading day down about 7%.

It's not clear why Campbell stock fell so sharply, but a likely reason could be something that was said during management's update on its strategy and transformation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference on Wednesday morning.

At the conference, which started at 11 a.m. EST and was webcast live on the company's investor relations website, Campbell CEO Denise Morrison was set to "share her perspective on the consumer and retail environment and discuss the actions Campbell is taking to transform its portfolio," according to a press release that went live ahead of the discussion.

A chalkboard sketch of a chart showing a stock price falling

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

In addition to providing a broad overview of Campbell's retail environment and transformation plans, Morrison and Campbell CFO Anthony DiSilvestro were supposed to provide updates on the company's acquisition of Pacific Foods and its pending acquisition of Snyder's-Lance, which will be Campbell's largest acquisition ever.

"With the completion of the Snyder's-Lance acquisition, Campbell will decisively and definitively shift its portfolio toward faster-growing categories, with snacking representing approximately 46 percent of the company's annual net sales," said Campbell's press release on Wednesday.

Now what

Amid a challenging retail environment for Campbell, including higher costs and heightened competition, the company has struggled to increase sales organically. Organic sales were down 2% year over year in Campbell's second quarter as Morrison called the period "disappointing," citing "challenges in U.S. soup and Campbell Fresh."

To battle top-line headwinds, the company has been implementing a multiyear cost-savings initiative to help drive earnings growth. Fortunately, management said it recently identified an extra $50 million of costs savings it believes it can achieve, increasing its cost-savings target from $450 million to $500 million by fiscal 2020. This is another topic Morrison and DiSilvestro discussed further on Wednesday, according to the press release.

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