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General Mills Inc. (GIS - Analyst Report) recently reached a 52-week high of $46.01 on Feb 25, 2013, on the back of solid second quarter 2013 results announced in December. Interestingly, the food giant announced an impressive guidance for fiscal 2014 last week.

Growth Drivers

General Mills reported second quarter 2013 results on Dec 19, 2012 with its top and bottom lines beating Zacks Consensus Estimates.

General Mills’ second quarter fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings rose 13% year on year to 86 cents per share. The quarterly earnings comprehensively beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 79 cents. The upside was driven by recent acquisitions, better-than-expected sales and profits in the U.S. retail business and lower interest expenses and taxes.  

Total revenue of the global consumer food company increased 6% year over year to $4.88 billion. Revenues slivered past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.87 billion. Revenues mostly benefited from recent acquisitions, mainly the purchases of Brazilian food maker Yoki Alimentos (in August this year) and Yoplait Canada. Sales were up 2% excluding the impact of the acquisitions.

In addition, General Mills recently reaffirmed its previously provided fiscal 2013 guidance at the CAGNY investor conference held in New York. The food giant expects growth in 2014 to be in line with its long-term goals.  

In fiscal 2014, General Mills intends to record strong earnings growth and increase cash returns to shareholders. Growth is expected to be in line with its long-term targets; high single-digit growth in earnings, low-single digit growth in net sales, and mid-single digit growth in segment operating profit.    

General Mills carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some stocks going strong in the food industry include ConAgra Foods, Inc (CAG - Analyst Report), Flower Foods Inc. (FLO - Snapshot Report) and J&J Snack Foods Corp (JJSF - Snapshot Report), all carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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