Campbell Soup   (CPB) - Get Report on Friday posted stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter and full-year earnings as U.S. snack sales - the product of its $6.1 billion purchase of Snyder's-Lance last year -- continued to add to its bottom line.

Campbell Soup said adjusted earnings for the three months ended July 28 weret 50 cents a share, up 14% from the same period last year and well ahead of Wall Street consensus forecasts of 41 cents. Sales of $2.02 billion also were ahead of analysts' forecasts of $2 billion.

Adjusted gross margin increased to 33.7%, driven by "... productivity improvements, the benefits from cost savings initiatives and the favorable impact from lapping costs associated with the July 2018 voluntary recall of Flavor Blasted Goldfish crackers," the company said.

For the full year, Campbell posted adjusted earnings before taxes and interest (EBIT) of $1.42 billion, or an adjusted $2.63 a share, above analysts' forecasts of $2.55 a share, though full-year sales rang in at $8.1 billion, below analysts' forecasts of $9.1 billion.

For fiscal 2020, Campbell said it expects net sales to rise 1% to 3% from fiscal 2019, with adjusted EBIT gaining 2% to 4% and adjusted per-share earnings of between $2.50 and $2.55.

Shares of Campbell Soup opened up more than 3.7% in early trading on Friday, gaining $1.6 a share to $44.93 on the New York Stock Exchange. Campbell shares have risen more than 25% year to date.

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