Shares of Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) jumped as much as 11% on Monday after The New York Post said Kraft Heinz (NASDAQ: KHC) was interested in buying the food and beverage company.
“Campbell Soup, which last month said it was reviewing all aspects of its strategic plans and portfolio composition, will have at least one deep-pocketed suitor interested in kicking the tires should it decide to put itself on the block, the Post has learned,” Josh Kosman reported.
At the time of this writing, Campbell stock is up about 9.8%.
Campbell is going through a transition, as CEO Denise Morrison retired last month. Morrison was replaced by board member Keith McLoughlin as interim CEO.
Under McLoughlin’s leadership, Campbell would “strive to accelerate our growth strategy, improve our execution, and deliver shareholder value,” he said in a press release last month.
Campbell has struggled to keep investors happy recently. Shares have declined more than 20% over the last 12 months, including the stock’s run-up due to buyout speculation. Sales declined 1% year over year on an organic basis in the company’s most recent quarter, as management said it was “not satisfied” with its financial results.
While investors will want to wait for official news directly from Campbell before giving too much weight to a buyout, commentary from management in the company’s most recent earnings call did suggest Campbell would consider a range of options to boost shareholder value. “Looking ahead, we will be reviewing all aspects of our strategic plans and portfolio composition,” said CFO Anthony DiSilvestro. The review will take several months, DiSilvestro said.
While a buyout isn’t certain, Campbell looks like a good candidate.
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