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Campbell Soup Co., symbol CBB on New York, is the world’s largest maker of canned soups. It also makes Prego canned pasta and sauces, Pepperidge Farm cookies and V8 vegetable juices. The company gets 19.8% of its sales from international markets. Its biggest foreign markets are Australia and Europe.
In the three months ended January 30, 2011, company’s sales fell 1.2%, to $2.13 billion from $2.15 billion. Soup sales fell 4.0% in the U.S. The company continues to face strong competition from generic brands. In response, it ran promotions that discounted the prices of some of its brands, particularly ready-to-serve soups.
Earnings fell 7.7%, to $239.0 million from $259.0 million a year earlier. The company spent $417 million on share buybacks in the latest quarter. Due to fewer shares outstanding, earnings per share fell 4.1% to $0.71 from $0.74. The lower sales and higher advertising spending were the main reasons for the decline.
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