Campbell Soup (CPB) - Get Report is known for a lot of things. It is known for its variety of canned soup, including chicken and tomato, plus Pepperidge Farm snacks and V8 products. It is also known as a solid stock performer. It is one of 17 stocks TheStreet's Jim Cramer says is "blessed" by charts and fundamentals.
That should get you thinking about buying the stock before the company reports second-quarter fiscal 2016 earnings results before the opening bell Thursday. Campbell has been working to diversify its product offerings to take advantage of the trend toward healthier eating. As part of that effort the company announced a $125 million in capital fund to invest in "food and food-related industries."
Campbell has shown solid improvements where some of its packaged-food industry peers have suffered. Management continues to create ways to offset inflation costs by reducing its own input costs, while slashing capital expenses.
These improvements have helped the Spaghettios maker beat Wall Street's earnings estimates in three straight quarters, despite prolonged revenue pressures. Raising some prices and lowering promotional spending are two reasons for this.
For the quarter that ended in January, analysts, on average, expect Campbell to earn 80 cents a share (up 21%) on revenue of $2.20 billion, compared to the year-ago quarter when earnings were 66 cents a share on revenue of $2.23 billion. For the full year, ending in July, earnings are projected to climb 17% year over year to $2.88 a share, while revenue of $8.01 billion would be a 1% decline.
Since the start of the just-ended quarter, Campbell's second-quarter earnings estimates have risen to 80 cents from 71 cents while full-year estimates have risen to $2.88 from $2.59. Based on the fiscal 2017 consensus estimate of $3.06 a share, the company will see 6.25% year over year earnings growth.
The 2017 estimate puts the company's forward price to earnings multiple 20 compared with a forward P/E of 17 for the S&P 500 index. While the valuation may seem pricey, keep in mind the company also pays a 31.5-cent quarterly dividend, yielding 2.10% annually. That's another reason this stock is a buy ahead of earnings.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.