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The New and Improved Campbell Soup Co.: Opinion

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- You'd think there would be nothing more boring than a 143-year old company that makes most of its money selling canned soups.

Think again, and meet CampbellSoup (CPB - Get Report) and its sterling CEO, Denise Morrison, who for the past 12 months has infused the company with new life and achievable goals.

Campbell Soup has been having a banner year, and so has the price of its stock, as you can see from the following chart: CPB Chart CPB data by YCharts

Although the shares recently hit a 52-week high of $35.60, due in large part to a dramatic increase in revenue per share, CPB still is nearly 12% below the $40 price reached in 2008 before the financial world imploded.

On average, analysts expect the company to report a profit of 39 cents a share on revenue of $1.59 billion for its fiscal 2012 fourth quarter, which ended July 31. That would mark a more than 25% EPS increase from the 2011 fiscal fourth quarter, when Campbell reported earnings of 31 cents a share. Revenue was $1.61 billion in that quarter.

Campbell traditionally gets more than half of its revenue from its soup unit, which includes the company's co-branded Kirkland Signature and Stockpot soups that it sells at COSTCO (COST) stores.

The Camden, N.J.-based company also makes V8 juice, Prego spaghetti sauce, Pace Mexican food sauces and Pepperidge Farm baked goods.

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Campbell's has seen its soup business decline in recent years. When she took the reins as CEO, Denise Morrison vowed to improve the soup business. The company has been introducing a number of new products including new flavors of its Chunky soups to improve sales. But in the previous quarter, the company was disappointed to admit that sales of U.S. soups fell 3% from a year ago.

According to a recent Associated Press report, there's a bigger picture that shareholders and potential investors should focus on.
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