Campbell Soup (CPB) Short Interest Up 16.4% in October

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) saw a significant growth in short interest in October. As of October 15th, there was short interest totalling 32,703,664 shares, a growth of 16.4% from the September 28th total of 28,096,959 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 3,913,508 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 8.4 days. Currently, 18.9% of the company’s stock are sold short.

In related news, insider Luca Mignini acquired 5,494 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 2nd. The stock was bought at an average price of $36.41 per share, with a total value of $200,036.54. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 112,990 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $4,113,965.90. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 37.20% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Third Point LLC increased its holdings in Campbell Soup by 224.3% in the 3rd quarter. Third Point LLC now owns 18,000,000 shares of the company’s stock valued at $659,340,000 after buying an additional 12,450,000 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Campbell Soup by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 14,584,732 shares of the company’s stock valued at $591,265,000 after purchasing an additional 36,804 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its holdings in shares of Campbell Soup by 1,223.0% during the 2nd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 5,721,091 shares of the company’s stock valued at $231,933,000 after purchasing an additional 5,288,651 shares during the last quarter. Brandywine Managers LLC grew its holdings in shares of Campbell Soup by 51.2% during the 2nd quarter. Brandywine Managers LLC now owns 5,609,014 shares of the company’s stock valued at $227,389,000 after purchasing an additional 1,900,000 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of Campbell Soup by 20.3% during the 2nd quarter. Beutel Goodman & Co Ltd. now owns 2,843,202 shares of the company’s stock valued at $87,692,000 after purchasing an additional 480,296 shares during the last quarter. 55.65% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Shares of NYSE CPB traded down $1.03 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $39.52. 2,443,455 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,748,481. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 5.65, a quick ratio of 0.31 and a current ratio of 0.69. The stock has a market cap of $12.19 billion, a PE ratio of 13.77, a P/E/G ratio of 2.76 and a beta of 0.13. Campbell Soup has a twelve month low of $32.63 and a twelve month high of $51.07.

Campbell Soup (NYSE:CPB) last posted its earnings results on Tuesday, November 20th. The company reported $0.79 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.69 by $0.10. The company had revenue of $2.69 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.66 billion. Campbell Soup had a net margin of 1.95% and a return on equity of 53.81%. Campbell Soup’s quarterly revenue was up 24.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.92 EPS. As a group, analysts predict that Campbell Soup will post 2.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, October 29th. Shareholders of record on Friday, October 12th were paid a $0.35 dividend. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.54%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, October 11th. Campbell Soup’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 48.78%.

Several equities research analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Campbell Soup from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday. Credit Suisse Group raised their target price on shares of Campbell Soup from $33.00 to $36.00 and gave the company an “underperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Deutsche Bank set a $40.00 target price on shares of Campbell Soup and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday. ValuEngine raised shares of Campbell Soup from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Finally, UBS Group set a $33.00 target price on shares of Campbell Soup and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research report on Friday, November 16th. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Campbell Soup currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $40.20.

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About Campbell Soup

Campbell Soup Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets branded food and beverage products. It operates through three segments: Americas Simple Meals and Beverages, Global Biscuits and Snacks, and Campbell Fresh. The Americas Simple Meals and Beverages segment engages in the retail and food service of Campbell's condensed and ready-to-serve soups; Swanson broth and stocks; Prego pasta sauces; Pace Mexican sauces; Campbell's gravies, pastas, beans, and dinner sauces; Swanson canned poultry products; Plum food and snack products; V8 juices and beverages; Campbell's tomato juices; and Pacific broth, soups, non-dairy beverages, and other simple meals.

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