I'm not going to tell you this was an exceptional quarter by any stretch. But I don't believe management pretended it was. But contrary to what is being said about the company, the numbers came in as expected -- not the "miss" that's being reported. It also seems the Street is conveniently ignoring that Campbell is still on the acquisition trail.
Investors are getting restless -- I get that. But management hasn't stopped looking for ways to grow. In fact, Campbell has been leveraging whatever it can to return value to shareholders. It's not going to happen overnight. I believe with the recently announced acquisition of Plum, a fast-growing producer of baby food, management deserves more time to synergize these operations. I'm bothered by the lack of attention that this deal has gotten.
Truth be told, there are still a lot of unknowns with this transaction. I'm not going to act as if it's a slam-dunk, earnings-growth guarantee. What I do know, though, is that Plum recently reported year-over-year revenue that soared more than 200%. To the extent that Campbell can harvest strong profitability out of such strong sales, it won't be long before management is able to reheat the growth optimism that the company enjoyed at the beginning of the year.
In the meantime, I expect that bears will continue to press the issue regarding the company's margins and organic growth. It's happened in the past to other giants like Kraft (KRFT) and Kellogg (K). But they overcame it, and so will Campbell.To that end, I believe the risk/reward is heavily tilted to the positive side. And until revenue takes a turn for the worse, I remain a long-term bull on this company. At the time of publication, the author held no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @saintssense This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.
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