CAMDEN, N.J. – Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) , whose brands include Pepperidge Farm (search), V8, Godiva (search), and its namesake soups, on Monday reported fourth-quarter profit climbed 63 percent, driven by lower marketing costs, higher selling prices, and productivity improvements.
Quarterly earnings rose to $96 million, or 23 cents per share, for the three months ended July 31 from $59 million, or 14 cents per share, a year earlier. Results last year included a 2 cent per share gain from the sale of a manufacturing plant, and a 5 cent per share restructuring charge. Excluding items, the company earned 17 cents per share in the year-ago period.
Sales grew 5 percent to about $1.5 billion from $1.43 billion last year, helped by price and sales allowances, lower promotional spending and currency translation.
Analysts expected earnings of 21 cents per share on sales of $1.52 billion, according to a Thomson Financial survey.
Full-year earnings grew to $707 million, or $1.71 per share, from $647 million, or $1.57 per share. Sales rose to $7.55 billion from $7.11 billion a year earlier. Excluding one-time items, the company's year-ago earnings were $1.58 per share.
Analysts expected a profit of $1.69 per share on $7.57 billion in sales.
Campbell said its fiscal 2006 earnings will be impacted by accounting for stock options. The company said it expects earnings per share to increase 5 percent to 7 percent from $1.64, with expects sales growth between 3 percent and 4 percent.
That guidance implies a fiscal-year profit of about $1.72 per share to $1.76 per share. Analysts expect earnings of $1.81 per share.
The company said fiscal 2005 earnings would have been $1.64 per share if stock options had been expensed.