Campbell Soup 2Q profit falls 7 pct; revenue rises

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) -- Net income fell 7 percent in Campbell Soup Co.'s latest quarter, hurt by costs of closing a plant in Mexico and other restructuring measures.

But the world's biggest soup maker on Friday posted an adjusted profit and revenue growth in the fiscal second quarter that were better than Wall Street analysts had predicted.

For the quarter ended Jan. 27, Campbell Soup's earnings came to $190 million, or 60 cents per share, down from $205 million, or 64 cents per share, in the same quarter last year. Excluding costs of shutting down the Mexico plant and laying off the 260 workers there, as well as ongoing restructuring in the U.S., profit came to 70 cents per share.

Revenue rose 10 percent to $2.33 billion from $2.11 billion, with a big boost coming from its August acquisition of premium juice maker Bolthouse Farms.

Analysts, on average, predicted a profit of 66 cents per share on $2.32 billion in revenue, according to FactSet.

Campbell has struggled in recent years amid tough competition and declining consumption of canned soups. It's been working to revitalize its main business with new flavors and packaging designed to appeal to younger people. For example, instead of the company's iconic cans, the newest soups come in plastic pouches that can be torn open and microwaved.

Sales in the company's U.S. soup division rose 1 percent, while sales of sauces such as "Prego" pasta sauce were unchanged. Together, that division's sales rose 1 percent to $833 million. The company's ready-to-serve soup sales grew 8 percent, helped by "Campbell's Chunky" canned soups and new products. But the microwavable soups declined.

Sales in the company's global snacks division, which includes "Pepperidge Farm" cookies, rose 7 percent to $561 million.

The acquisition of Boathouse Farms added $195 million in sales.

Campbell's backed its previous forecast for the full fiscal year ending in July, which is in line with analysts' current predictions.

Shares of Camden, N.J.-based Campbell fell 1.1 percent to $38.30 just before the opening bell.