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Campbell Soup Is Leaving Investors Cold

By Amy Tsao

The brutal winter should've been great for Campbell Soup Co. (CPB), but it wasn't. It reported that earnings per share hit 56 cents, a 12% rise, on a 6% sales gain, to $1.9 billion, in its latest quarter. Soup made up $824 million, or 43%, of sales. While the country's biggest prepared-soup maker performed well in November and December, sales in January, the coldest and last month of its fiscal second quarter, disappointed investors.

Campbell CEO Douglas Conant says the soup unit's 8.5% decline in January sales was caused by poor execution with retailers, who didn't allot enough in-store displays or trade promotions for Campbell's products. The misstep, he says, has been remedied and should not affect future sales.

Analysts weren't assuaged. Inst

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