Campbell Soup’s CEO Denise Morrison steps down, shares fall

Campbell Soup’s CEO Denise Morrison steps down, shares fall

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Campbell Soup Co. (CPB) shares fell more than 12 percent on Friday following the news that CEO Denise Morrison suddenly decided to step down. The company also issued a disappointing outlook for the fiscal year 2019.

Morrison led Campbell for about seven years. The company didn’t disclose any reason for her departure. Board member Keith McLoughlin has been named interim CEO until the company finds a permanent replacement.

The Camden, New Jersey-based company has been under pressure as customers have started preferring healthier food over processed options. The change in customers taste is one of the reasons behind its declining soup business.

Campbell also announced its financial results for the third quarter on Friday. It reported a loss of $393 million, or $1.31 a share for the three-month period ended April 29, versus a profit in the same period last year. The loss was mainly due to a $619 million charge linked to Campbell Fresh.

On an adjusted basis, the company earned 70 cents a share, beating consensus forecast by 10 cents. Revenue for the quarter came in at $2.13 billion, up 15 percent from the comparable quarter one year ago.

The company said that its recently closed acquisition of Snyder’s-Lance would affect its adjusted earnings for the fiscal year 2019.

Looking forward, Campbell expects its earnings for the FY 2019 to decline in a range of 5 percent to 6 percent, as compared to its previous projection for a surge of 2 percent to 4 percent. The earlier outlook didn’t include the affect from Snyder’s-Lance.

Chief Financial Officer Anthony DiSilvestro said Campbell plans to conduct an important review of its portfolio. It will discuss the outcome of review with its fourth-quarter financial results in August.

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She is the Managing Editor for in-depth discussions and analysis as well as breaking news at Markets Morning. She works closely with Editor-in-Chief Zac Berry on content and publishing initiatives for the site. Brianna Clemons has worked as a financial journalist and editor since 1997. She lives in Bucks County, PA, with her husband, four young children and one dog.