Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE:CPB) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Campbell remains prone to currency fluctuations due to its exposure to the international markets. The company’s results in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016 were somewhat impacted by adverse foreign currency translations. Though management expects this headwind to have a nominal impact on the company’s fiscal 2017 performance, it still remains a hurdle. However, the company's estimates have been stable ahead of the first quarter earnings release. It also has a positive record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. Campbell remains on track to improve Campbell Fresh’s long-term performance and augment overall sales in fiscal 2017. Also, its strategic initiatives aimed at strengthening its brand portfolio bode well. Given these factors, the solid profits earned in fiscal 2016 and the confidence in the company’s long-term potential, management announced a 12% hike in its quarterly dividend to boost investor sentiment.”

A number of other research firms have also recently issued reports on CPB. Bank of America Corp. reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of Campbell Soup in a report on Friday, September 2nd. Citigroup Inc. cut their price target on Campbell Soup from $67.00 to $63.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Friday, September 2nd. RBC Capital Markets reaffirmed a sector perform rating and issued a $58.00 price target (down from $62.00) on shares of Campbell Soup in a report on Sunday, September 4th. Wells Fargo & Co. set a $59.50 price target on Campbell Soup and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Sunday, September 4th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG dropped their price objective on Campbell Soup from $63.00 to $61.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a report on Friday, August 26th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Campbell Soup presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $59.83.

Analyst Recommendations for Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB)

Shares of Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) traded down 0.68% on Wednesday, hitting $54.08. 468,576 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Campbell Soup has a 1-year low of $48.74 and a 1-year high of $67.89. The company has a market cap of $16.65 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 29.88 and a beta of 0.40. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $53.94 and its 200 day moving average price is $59.64.

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, September 1st. The company reported $0.46 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.50 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $1.69 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.69 billion. Campbell Soup had a net margin of 7.07% and a return on equity of 59.50%. The firm’s revenue was down .4% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $0.43 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Campbell Soup will post $3.04 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, January 30th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, January 11th will be paid a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.57%. Campbell Soup’s dividend payout ratio is currently 77.78%.

In other news, insider Carlos Barroso sold 1,600 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.68, for a total transaction of $92,288.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 46,888 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,704,499.84. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, VP William J. O’shea sold 13,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, September 2nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $57.74, for a total value of $750,620.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 28,952 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,671,688.48. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 37.30% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in CPB. Janus Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Campbell Soup by 87.3% in the second quarter. Janus Capital Management LLC now owns 2,674,791 shares of the company’s stock worth $177,954,000 after buying an additional 1,246,493 shares in the last quarter. Laurion Capital Management LP boosted its stake in shares of Campbell Soup by 105.4% in the second quarter. Laurion Capital Management LP now owns 62,400 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,151,000 after buying an additional 1,212,300 shares in the last quarter. Jefferies Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Campbell Soup by 104.8% in the second quarter. Jefferies Group LLC now owns 53,863 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,584,000 after buying an additional 1,168,992 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors boosted its stake in shares of Campbell Soup by 30.1% in the second quarter. BlackRock Fund Advisors now owns 4,693,665 shares of the company’s stock worth $312,270,000 after buying an additional 1,087,074 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schroder Investment Management Group boosted its stake in shares of Campbell Soup by 97.8% in the third quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 2,124,993 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,237,000 after buying an additional 1,050,882 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 42.79% of the company’s stock.

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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