Campbell settles with activist

Article Excerpt

CAMPBELL SOUP CO. $40 (New York symbol CPB; Conservative-Growth Payer Portfolio, Consumer sector; Shares o/s: 300.7 million; Market cap: $12.0 billion; Dividend yield: 3.5%; Dividend Sustainability Rating: Above Average; www.campbellsoupcompany.com) has agreed to expand its board of directors from 12 members to 14, and will place two of activist investor Daniel Loeb’s nominees on the board. (Together ,Loeb’s Third Point hedge fund and George Strawbridge Jr., the grandson of Campbell founder John Dorrance, control 10% of the stock.) Third Point will also have input in the selection of another director and a new CEO. The deal should let Campbell focus on its plan to sell its international and refrigerated-foods businesses. Savings from a cost-cutting plan should also let the company maintain its current annual dividend rate of $1.40 a share, which yields 3.5%. Campbell Soup is still a buy. buy…

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