Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) was the target of a large increase in short interest during the month of October. As of October 31st, there was short interest totalling 23,571,049 shares, an increase of 14.9% from the October 13th total of 20,505,894 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 2,844,584 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 8.3 days. Currently, 13.7% of the company’s shares are sold short.

A number of research analysts have issued reports on the company. Barclays PLC reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of Campbell Soup in a research note on Tuesday, July 25th. Credit Suisse Group set a $47.00 price objective on Campbell Soup and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 23rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Campbell Soup from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 29th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “neutral” rating and set a $50.00 price objective (down previously from $56.00) on shares of Campbell Soup in a research note on Monday, September 11th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada set a $56.00 price objective on Campbell Soup and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Seven research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $50.55.

Campbell Soup (CPB) opened at $49.72 on Monday. Campbell Soup has a one year low of $44.99 and a one year high of $64.23. The company has a quick ratio of 0.42, a current ratio of 0.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.52. The firm has a market capitalization of $14,942.28, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.46, a PEG ratio of 3.65 and a beta of 0.38.

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, August 31st. The company reported $0.52 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.55 by ($0.03). Campbell Soup had a return on equity of 59.84% and a net margin of 11.24%. The business had revenue of $1.66 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.69 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $0.46 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Campbell Soup will post 3.07 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 29th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be paid a $0.35 dividend. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.82%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. Campbell Soup’s dividend payout ratio is currently 48.44%.

In other news, insider Luca Mignini purchased 4,300 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 27th. The shares were bought at an average cost of $46.47 per share, for a total transaction of $199,821.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 88,178 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,097,631.66. The acquisition was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Charles R. Perrin sold 2,304 shares of Campbell Soup stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $46.46, for a total value of $107,043.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 37.20% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Motco raised its stake in shares of Campbell Soup by 301.9% in the second quarter. Motco now owns 2,130 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after purchasing an additional 1,600 shares during the last quarter. First Personal Financial Services raised its stake in shares of Campbell Soup by 180.9% in the third quarter. First Personal Financial Services now owns 2,677 shares of the company’s stock worth $125,000 after purchasing an additional 1,724 shares during the last quarter. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. raised its stake in shares of Campbell Soup by 13.6% in the second quarter. Mercer Capital Advisers Inc. now owns 3,374 shares of the company’s stock worth $176,000 after purchasing an additional 405 shares during the last quarter. Meeder Asset Management Inc. purchased a new position in shares of Campbell Soup in the third quarter worth $175,000. Finally, Victory Capital Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Campbell Soup by 6.1% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,733 shares of the company’s stock worth $195,000 after purchasing an additional 213 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 47.08% of the company’s stock.

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Campbell Soup Company Profile

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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