Campbell Soup Company (CPB)

CPB 
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Campbell Soup (CPB)

Q3 2011 Earnings Call

May 23, 2011 10:00 am ET

Executives

B. Owens - Chief Administrative Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President

Jennifer Driscoll - Vice President of Investor Relations

Douglas Conant - Chief Executive Officer, President, Director and Member of Finance & Corporate Development Committee

Denise Morrison - Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and Director

Analysts

Andrew Lazar - Barclays Capital

Diane Geissler - Credit Agricole Securities (USA) Inc.

Alexia Howard - Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., Inc.

Vincent Andrews - Morgan Stanley

Jonathan Feeney - Janney Montgomery Scott LLC

Jason English - Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

Christopher Growe - Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., Inc.

Terry Bivens - JP Morgan Chase & Co

Eric Katzman - Deutsche Bank AG

Robert Dickerson - Consumer Edge Research, LLC

Robert Moskow - Crédit Suisse AG

Bryan Spillane - BofA Merrill Lynch

Edward Aaron - RBC Capital Markets, LLC

David Driscoll - Citigroup Inc

Akshay Jagdale - KeyBanc Capital Markets Inc.

Presentation

Operator

Good day, ladies and gentlemen, and welcome to the Campbell Soup Second (sic) [Third] Quarter 2011 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Now as a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I would now like to turn the conference over to your host, Ms. Jennifer Driscoll, Vice President, Investor Relations. Please begin.

Jennifer Driscoll

Thank you, Mary. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Campbell Soup Company. It is our third quarter earnings call and webcast. With me here in Camden today are Doug Conant, our President and Chief Executive Officer; Denise Morrison, Chief Operating Officer; Craig Owens, Senior Vice President, CFO and Chief Administrative Officer; and Anthony DiSilvestro, our Senior Vice President of Finance.

Doug will kick us off, and then Denise will provide her perspective on the quarter, followed by our financial performance and our outlook from Craig. Following their remarks, we'll take questions from analysts and investors.

As usual, we've created slides to accompany our presentation. You will find our slides posted on the website this morning at investor.campbellsoupcompany.com. Please keep in mind that our call is open to members of the investment community. Media are listening to the call in listen-only mode.

As a reminder, our presentation today includes certain forward-looking statements that reflect the company's current expectations about future plans and performance. These forward-looking statements rely on a number of assumptions and estimates which could be inaccurate and which inherently are subject to risks. Please refer to Slide 3 in the presentation or to the company's most recent Form 10-K and subsequent SEC filings for a list of the factors that could cause our actual results to vary materially from those anticipated in any forward-looking statements.

Our presentation also includes certain non-GAAP measures as provided by SEC rules. In an appendix to the slides, we've provided a reconciliation of those measures to the most directly comparable GAAP measures. All of our slides and our earnings release and selected quarterly financial data can be found on our website.

Last, we'd like to remind you that we are hosting our annual Analyst Day on Tuesday, July 12. At the event, Denise Morrison will share her strategic framework for the company with you. We'll also feature presentations by several other senior members of our leadership team. We'll end with Q&A and naturally feature many Campbell products, including several new products at our luncheon. We hope you'll join us either via webcast or better yet, live at World Headquarters in Camden, New Jersey.

And with that, I give you our President and CEO, Doug Conant.

Douglas Conant

Good morning, everyone, and thank you, Jennifer. We reported today that sales and EBIT rose modestly, and earnings per share increased nicely in the third quarter. As you know, I'm stepping down as CEO of Campbell Soup Company at the end of July, which makes this my lucky 42nd earnings call while I've been a Campbell CEO, and it will be my last one with you. From my vantage point, Denise Morrison has her arms around the challenges in our U.S. Soup business, and her leadership team is coming together quite nicely. Things are shaping up for a richer conversation with you at our Analyst Day in July.

As I've said before, it's not about the quarters or months, it's about the years, and I don't say that just because we're in a seasonal business. As you know, while quarters are important, I believe it's over the years that shareholder value is created, one product, one customer and one consumer at a time. It's best done by simultaneously creating a winning environment in the workplace, leveraging your workplace success to create a winning financial profile in the marketplace over time, winning in the community by helping to build a better world and winning with integrity in everything you do. As I look back, while I'm sure we could have done better, I'm proud of all we've accomplished as a company in all of those fronts over the last 10 years. And I'm very excited about what will accomplish in the future under Denise's leadership.

Perhaps the importance of understanding long-term trends is why the food industry is intrinsically different at its core. In my opinion, the food industry is special in terms of the continuity of the players, the collaboration of the people and the long-term perspective which is often easy to lose sight of with the day-to-day vagaries of the market. I've always viewed our shareholder base and our analyst coverage as an asset to the company. So on this, my lucky 42nd call, let me thank you warmly and sincerely for your support, your candor, your insights and your friendship over the last decade.

Read the rest of this transcript for free on seekingalpha.com