Campbell Soup Company ( CPB ) reported a flat year-over-year earnings for first-quarter 2012. The quarterly earnings of 82 cents per share however surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 80 cents. A reduction in total number of outstanding shares due to the company's share repurchase program benefited Campbell.
During the quarter, net sales inched down 0.5% from the prior-year quarter to $2,161.0 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $2,214.0 million. The decrease was primarily due to a negative impact from volume and mix of 5.0% and 1.0% increase in promotional spending, partially offset by 4.0% spike in price and sales allowances and favorable currency translations of 1.0%.
Since fourth-quarter 2011, the company is reporting its results of operations in five reportable segments, i.e. U.S. Simple Meals, U.S. Beverages, Global Baking and Snacking, International Simple Meals and Beverages and North America Foodservice.
U.S. Soup, Sauces and Beverages have been divided into U.S. Simple Meals and U.S. Beverages. The Baking and Snacking segment has been renamed as Global Baking and Snacking while International Soup, Sauces and Beverages segment has been renamed as International Simple Meals and Beverages.
Sales at the U.S. Simple Meals division fell 3.0% year over year to $874.0 million, primarily due to adverse volume and mix and increased promotional spending, partially offset by a spike in price and sales allowances. Sales of U.S. Soup declined 4.0% as sales of condensed and ready-to-serve soups plummeted 4.0% and 9.0%, respectively, partially offset by a 6.0% increase in broth sales.
Sales at the U.S. Beverages division declined 3.0% year over year to $198.0 million, primarily due to adverse impact of increased promotional spending and unfavorable volume and mix.
Campbell's Global Baking and Snacking segment posted a growth of 4.0% year over year to $568.0 million, mainly attributable to a spike in price and sales and favorable currency translations, partially offset by unfavorable volume and mix and higher promotional spending. The company witnessed higher sales of cookies and crackers, and a good performance at Pepperidge Farm.
Sales at the International Simple Meals and Beverages recorded a decline of 3.0% to $359.0 million primarily due to lower sales in Europe and Canada along with unfavorable volume and mix. However, the decrease in segment sales was partially offset by increased sales in Asia Pacific region and favorable currency translation.
North America Foodservice division's quarterly sales grew 6.0% year over year to $162.0 million. The increase was primarily attributable to higher volumes
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