Campbell Stock Rally Fueled By Third Point Stake, Sale Rumors

Activist Daniel Loeb is reportedly pushing for a sale

Managing Editor
Aug 1, 2018 at 10:17 AM
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Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) stock is up 2.1% to trade at $41.75 this morning, amid reports that hedge fund Third Point has taken a more than $300 million stake in the food processing name. Further, sources say activist Daniel Loeb is trying to get controlling shareholders to put the company up for sale. 

CPB has spent most of 2018 carving out a channel of lower lows. However, since falling to a five-year low of $32.63 on June 7, Campbell's stock has rallied 28%, gapping higher in late June on rumors of buyout interest from Kraft Heinz (KHZ). The upbeat price action today has the shares testing a recent ceiling at the $42 level, while just above is their 160-day moving average -- a trendline that has served as resistance since May 2017. 

Most analysts remain on the sidelines. At last night's close, 11 of the 13 brokerages covering CPB rated it a "hold" or worse. In addition, the equity's average 12-month price target of $36.15 sits below its current perch. The door is certainly wide open for bullish analyst attention, which could drive the stock past technical resistance.

A short squeeze could also provide more tailwinds for the equity. Short interest increased by 10% in the two most recent reporting periods to 38.41 million shares. This represents 21% of CPB's total available float, and nearly two weeks of pent-up buying power, at the average daily pace of trading.

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