Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE:CPB) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Wednesday. They currently have $65.00 price objective on the stock.

According to Zacks, “Campbell began fiscal 2017 on a strong note, as the bottom-line topped estimates and rose year over year, with the gross margin delivering a robust show. Results were aided by Campbell’s cost saving efforts, as the company is on track to achieve its targeted savings of $300 million by fiscal 2018. However, sales were flat due to lower organic sales, which resulted from softness in Campbell Fresh due to weak carrot sales and the lingering effect of the Bolthouse Farms product recall. Management stated that it remains focused on getting its old carrot consumers back, and its Bolthouse Farms capacity on track. Also, better U.S. soup business trends; new product launches and strength across its portfolio, place Campbell well for future growth, thereby leading to a retained fiscal 2017 view. While Campbell has outperformed the Zacks Categorized industry on a year-to-date basis, industry hurdles like food deflation and competition pose threats.”

Other analysts have also issued reports about the company. TheStreet raised Campbell Soup from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 22nd. Deutsche Bank AG lowered their price objective on Campbell Soup from $63.00 to $61.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Friday, August 26th. Wells Fargo & Co. set a $59.50 price objective on Campbell Soup and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Sunday, September 4th. Argus downgraded Campbell Soup from a buy rating to a hold rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $47.77 to $55.38 in a research report on Monday, September 19th. Finally, lowered their price objective on Campbell Soup from $64.00 to $59.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a research report on Monday, September 12th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Campbell Soup presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $59.43.

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) opened at 56.89 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $17.52 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.73 and a beta of 0.40. Campbell Soup has a 12 month low of $50.54 and a 12 month high of $67.89. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $54.30 and a 200 day moving average price of $59.17.

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, November 22nd. The company reported $1.00 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.95 by $0.05. Campbell Soup had a return on equity of 58.62% and a net margin of 8.30%. The firm had revenue of $2.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.20 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.95 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .0% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Campbell Soup will post $3.07 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 30th. Investors of record on Wednesday, January 11th will be given a dividend of $0.35 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, January 9th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.46%. Campbell Soup’s payout ratio is 66.04%.

In related news, insider Edward Carolan sold 2,400 shares of Campbell Soup stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.35, for a total transaction of $130,440.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 49,038 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,665,215.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Carlos Barroso sold 1,600 shares of Campbell Soup stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $57.68, for a total value of $92,288.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 46,888 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,704,499.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 37.30% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Campbell Soup by 109.8% in the first quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 29,785 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,900,000 after buying an additional 15,588 shares during the last quarter. Babson Capital Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Campbell Soup during the first quarter valued at about $1,498,000. First Republic Investment Management Inc. boosted its position in shares of Campbell Soup by 45.9% in the first quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 9,535 shares of the company’s stock valued at $608,000 after buying an additional 3,000 shares during the last quarter. Boothbay Fund Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Campbell Soup during the first quarter valued at about $377,000. Finally, British Columbia Investment Management Corp boosted its position in shares of Campbell Soup by 8.4% in the second quarter. British Columbia Investment Management Corp now owns 94,870 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,312,000 after buying an additional 7,363 shares during the last quarter. 42.26% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Campbell Soup

Campbell Soup Company is a food company, which manufactures and markets food products. The Company’s segments include Americas Simple Meals and Beverages; Global Biscuits and Snacks, and Campbell Fresh. The Americas Simple Meals and Beverages segment includes the retail and food service channel businesses.

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