Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE:CPB) posted better-than-expected quarterly EPS, driven by sales gains at its Beverages business, and its shares advanced 1.3% in premarket trading on Friday.
CPB reported Q2 EPS of 64 cents, beating analysts' expectations of 62 cents. Sales were $2.112 billion, versus consensus estimate of $2.12 billion.
Segment wise, U.S. Beverages and North America Foodservice sales advanced 4% and 9% respectively. Sales at Global Baking and Snacking remained flat. Sales at U.S. Simple Meals and International Simple Meals and Beverages declined 2% and 5% respectively.
Beverage sales were spurred by the launch of new items, including "V8 V-Fusion" Smoothies. Sales gains in this segment outpaced category growth CPB said.
Gross margin shrank to 38.4 percent from 39.4 percent last year, mainly because of significant cost inflation and negative mix.
CPB still sees 2012 EPS between $2.35 and $2.42, on net sales growth of 0 to 2 percent. Analysts' expect EPS of $2.36 for the year on sales of $7.71 billion.
The stock ended at $32.06 on Thursday. Shares have been trading in the range of $29.69 to $35.66 in the 52-week period.