Campbell earnings plunge 50%

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Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., saw fourth-quarter earnings drop nearly 50% from a year ago, in large part due to a 4.5% decline in U.S. consumption of its soups in fiscal 2000. Preceding the Sept. 7 announcement of the fall in earnings to $59 million for the period ended July 30, Campbell had sought to remedy poor soup sales with new ready-to-serve items, easy-open tops and a return to the well-known "Mm! Mm! Good!'' campaign, announced yesterday. But those efforts aren't expected to affect earnings until at least after the first quarter of 2001, when earnings are expected to be 6 cents to 8 cents below analyst expectations, said President-CEO David Johnson.

Copyright September 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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