Campbell Soup reported a fiscal first-quarter profit of $368 million, or 74 cents a share, up from $305 million, or 57 cents a share, in the year-earlier period. That beat the FactSet consensus analyst estimate of 72 cents a share. Sales rose 4% to $2.26 billion, above analyst forecasts of $2.22 billion, as improved volume and sales mix offset the negative effects of increased promotional spending and currency fluctuations. Gross margin declined 1.2 percentage points to 34.7%. The soup maker revised lower its fiscal 2015 outlook for adjusted per-share earnings to a range of $2.42 to $2.50 from $2.45 to $2.50, and for sales growth to a range of flat to 2% from 1% to 2%, to reflect the negative effects of currency movements. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, had gained 3% so far this year through Monday, while the S&P 500 has advanced 12%.
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