Friday, May 18, 2018

More Trouble In U.S. Packaged Food: Campbell Soup Down 12% (CPB; GIS; K)

For the last couple years we've been using Kellogg and General Mills as proxies for the group:
K Kellogg Company daily Stock Chart
General Mills
GIS General Mills, Inc. daily Stock Chart
The problems however extend through the entire sector.

Today's news, from Reuters:

Campbell Soup CEO quits abruptly; firm to review portfolio, cuts forecast
Campbell Soup Co Chief Executive Officer Denise Morrison unexpectedly stepped down on Friday, at the same time the company said it would embark on a review of its vast array of brands and issued a bleak forecast for the year.

Campbell’s stock fell 11 percent in morning trading, hitting a more than five-year low and putting it on track for its worst one-day decline since 1999.

Shares of B&G Foods, General Mills and Kraft Heinz also slipped after Campbell said it anticipates higher import tariffs and freight costs to weigh on profit margins until its fiscal year 2019 ends in August next year.

Morrison, 64, departs the company after seven years at the helm. Campbell provided no reason for her departure, but said board member Keith McLoughlin, 61, would replace her in the interim immediately.

The company also said it would conduct a thorough, critical review of all its business plans and portfolio composition over several months to improve its financial performance.

“Everything is on the table. There are no sacred cows,” Chief Financial Officer Anthony DiSilvestro said on a conference call with analysts....MORE 
The stock is down  $4.79 (-12.21%) at $34.43. It has been cut in half since July 2016.

May 3 
The Disaster That Is American Packaged Food (K; GIS)
Not talking nutrition here, just shareholder wealth destruction.
We've been posting on the profit potential on the short side for the last couple years and things have only gotten worse for the former giants over the last few months:...

The David Says Eat More Packaged Food (and short the stocks)
Packaged Goods: "...America's Venerable Food Brands Are Struggling"
Nine of the World's Biggest Packaged Food Companies Have Launched Venture Capital Units
"Hungry for Investment: Big Food Races Toward Startups"
Dealflow: "New Investors Flock To Food"
March 2017
M&A In European Food
I'm not sure that consumer packaged goods is the area to be in, at least not in the U.S. and not based on names like Kellogg or General Mills.
For a quarter-century those manufacturers ratcheted prices as though they were tobacco companies but people find it easier to give up their Cheerios than their cigarettes.
The managements milked that approach for pretty much all it was worth so, as operating entities, they aren't all that attractive but someone will decide the only thing left to do is to asset strip or dividend recap the life out of the former cash cows.
Top o'the market to ya.... 
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CPB Campbell Soup Company daily Stock Chart