Updated from 1:29 p.m. EDT
dipped to a new 52-week low Thursday after the company said sales of soups and sauces fell 51% in the fourth quarter.
The shares traded as low as $23.75, but recovered ending Thursday regular trading up 25 cents, or 1%, at $25.13.
In a statement issued before markets opened, the food company also said that earnings will fall 6 to 8 cents below "current published estimates" in the coming first quarter. Those estimates are for earnings of 52 cents a diluted share, according to
First Call/Thomson Financial
For the fourth quarter ended July 30, net earnings were $59 million, or 14 cents a diluted share, compared to $121 million, or 28 cents a diluted share, in the comparable quarter last year. The reported numbers met the consensus expectations of analysts polled by First Call/Thomson Financial.
Net sales fell 8%.
After five years of relatively steady gains, Campbell's stock has been troubled since January 1999, when the company warned of an earnings shortfall as food companies faced bloated markets that constricted their ability to raise prices.
David W. Johnson, the company's chief executive, said the year's financial results "do not reflect the true potential of the brand power and people power."