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Campbell Soup Company

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Case Summary

Company Name
Campbell Soup Company
Stock Symbol
CPB
Class Period
August 31, 2017 to May 17, 2018
Motion Deadline
November 27, 2018
Court
District of New Jersey

The complaint charges Campbell Soup and certain of its officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Campbell Soup is a global food company that sells soups, packaged meals, beverages, snacks, and packaged fresh foods.  Through its "Campbell Fresh" division, Campbell Soup sells refrigerated beverages, salad dressings, and fresh carrots and carrot ingredients under the Bolthouse Farms brand name, and salsa and hummus under the Garden Fresh Gourmet brand name.

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period, defendants made materially false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information about the Company’s business, operations, and prospects.  Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants failed to disclose the known trends that were negatively impacting the profitability of the Company’s Campbell Fresh division.  As a result of this information being withheld from the market, the price of Campbell Soup stock was artificially inflated to as high as $50 per share during the Class Period.

Investors began to learn the truth about Campbell Soup's operations through a series of disclosures beginning on November 21, 2017, when the Company announced disappointing first quarter fiscal 2018 financial results, including a decrease in operating earnings for the Campbell Fresh division.  This news caused the Company’s stock price to fall over 8%.  On February 16, 2018, the Company announced disappointing financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2018, including a further decline in the Campbell Fresh division’s operating results and a reduction in the Company’s fiscal 2018 earnings guidance.  On this news, the price of Campbell Soup stock fell approximately 10% over three trading days to close at $42.90 per share.

Finally, on May 18, 2018, Campbell Soup announced disappointing financial results for the third straight quarter, including a $19 million loss for the Campbell Fresh division in the third quarter of fiscal 2018, forcing the Company to take a $619 million pre-tax non-cash impairment charge for the division and to further revise its fiscal year 2018 earnings guidance.  In addition, Campbell Soup announced that Denise M. Morrison was stepping down immediately as Chief Executive Officer of the Company.  Following this news, the price of Campbell Soup common stock fell over 12% to close at $34.37 per share on May 18, 2018.

Class Period: August 31, 2017 - May 17, 2018
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