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Campbell Soup Co (NYSE:CPB)
Retained Earnings
$2,159 Mil (As of Apr. 2014)

Retained earnings is the accumulated portion of net income that is not distributed to shareholders. Campbell Soup Co's retained earnings for the quarter that ended in Apr. 2014 was $2,159 Mil.

Campbell Soup Co's quarterly retained earnings increased from Oct. 2013 ($1,847 Mil) to Jan. 2014 ($2,073 Mil) and increased from Jan. 2014 ($2,073 Mil) to Apr. 2014 ($2,159 Mil).

Campbell Soup Co's annual retained earnings increased from Jul. 2011 ($9,185 Mil) to Jul. 2012 ($9,584 Mil) but then declined from Jul. 2012 ($9,584 Mil) to Jul. 2013 ($1,772 Mil).


Definition

Retained Earnings is the accumulated portion of net income that is not distributed to shareholders. Because the net income was not distributed to shareholders, shareholders’ equity is increased by the same amount.

Of course, if a company loses, it is called retained losses, or accumulated losses.


Explanation

Historically profitable companies sometimes have negative retained earnings. This is because they have cumulatively paid out more to shareholders than they reported in profits.

For example, in 2011, Microsoft had negative retained earnings. This does not mean the company lost more money than it made over the years. It just means it paid out more money than it earned.

If a company has negative retained earnings, investors should check the 10-year financial results. They should not assume that negative retained earnings prove a company has generally lost money in the past.

Of course, many companies with negative retained earnings have indeed lost money in the past.

Retained Earnings: Warren Buffett’s Secret.

One of the most important indicators of durable competitive advantage. Net earnings can be paid out as dividends, used to buy back shares or retained for growth.

If the company loses more than it has accumulated, retained earnings is negative.

If a company isn’t adding to its retained earnings, it isn’t growing its net worth.

Rate of growth of retained earnings is good indicator whether it’s benefiting from a competitive advantage.

Microsoft is negative because it chose to buyback stock and pay dividends.

The more earnings retained, the faster it grows and increases growth rate for future earnings.


Historical Data

* All numbers are in millions except for per share data and ratio. All numbers are in their own currency.

Campbell Soup Co Annual Data

Jul04Jul05Jul06Jul07Jul08Jul09Jul10Jul11Jul12Jul13
Retained Earnings 5,6426,0696,5397,0827,9098,2888,7609,1859,5841,772

Campbell Soup Co Quarterly Data

Jan12Apr12Jul12Oct12Jan13Apr13Jul13Oct13Jan14Apr14
Retained Earnings 9,4669,5509,5849,7361,8412,0221,7721,8472,0732,159
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