June 3, 2020 / 11:39 AM / a month ago

UPDATE 1-Campbell Soup raises 2020 forecasts after beating estimates as people stockpile

(Adds quarterly results, comparison with estimates, shares, background)

June 3 (Reuters) - Campbell Soup Co raised its full-year profit and sales forecast on Wednesday after beating expectations for third-quarter results as consumers stocked up on soup, pasta sauces and salsa while they stayed at home during the pandemic.

Shares of the company, which have risen 5% this year, were up 3% in pre-market trading.

Demand for packaged foods saw a surge during the lockdowns, as shuttered restaurants and limited take-away options forced people into stocking up more food options at home.

The Prego pasta sauce maker now expects fiscal 2020 adjusted earnings per share to be between $2.87 and $2.92, compared with its prior range of $2.55 to $2.60.

The company also said it expected its fiscal 2020 net sales growth to be between 5.5% and 6.5%. It had previously forecast a decline of 1% to a growth of 1%.

Net sales rose about 15% to $2.24 billion in the third quarter, ended April 26, beating estimates of $2.22 billion, driven by higher demand for Prego pasta sauces, V8 beverages and Pepperidge Farm cookies.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 83 cents per share, compared with analysts' average expectation of profit of 75 cents per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam and Martinne Geller; editing by Uttaresh.V and Shinjini Ganguli)

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