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Analyst Blog

Shares of General Mills, Inc. (GIS - Analyst Report) reached a 52-week high of $48.02 on Wednesday, Mar 20, 2013, after announcing solid fiscal third-quarter results the same day. The closing price of the food giant on Mar 20, 2013, was $47.61, representing a robust 1-year return of about 27.4% and year-to-date return of about 23.0%. Average volume of shares traded over the last 3 months stands at approximately 4143K.

Solid Third Quarter Performance

On Mar 20, 2013, General Mills reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter results, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimates for both revenue and earnings. Third-quarter fiscal 2013 adjusted earnings rose 16.4% year on year to 64 cents per share and also beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 57 cents by 12.3%. The upside was driven by the recent acquisitions, strong sales and profits in the U.S. retail business and lower advertising costs.

Moreover, GIS delivered decent revenue growth, though margins were sluggish in the quarter. Total revenue of the company increased 8% year over year to $4.43 billion, which slivered past the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $4.36 billion. Organic volume growth was better than the second quarter while currency had a neutral impact on sales.

In fact, General Mills has beaten earnings expectations in all the three quarters of fiscal 2013 mainly on the back of acquisitions and improving revenue trends in the U.S.

Moreover, despite the fourth-quarter earnings outlook being weak as costs are apprehended to rise, General Mills confidently upped its fiscal-2013 earnings expectations by a penny.

Other Stocks to Consider

General Mills currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). Other stocks in the food industry that are currently performing well and have a bright outlook include J&J Snack Foods Corp. (JJSF - Snapshot Report) – Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and ConAgra Foods, Inc. (CAG - Analyst Report) and Kellogg Company (K - Analyst Report), with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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