Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Earnings Roundup: General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS)

Quarterly Earnings

General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) reported Wednesday that its fiscal third-quarter earnings rose to $392.1 million, or 59 cents a share, from $332.5 million, or 48 cents a share, in the year-ago period. On an adjusted basis, the company earned 56 cents a share in the latest qurter. Revenue rose 2% to $3.65 billion from $3.63 billion. Analysts, on average, expected the company to report earnings of 56 cents on revenue of $3.70 billion.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Powell said, "Results for the third quarter showed an acceleration in sales and profit growth following first-half performance that tracked generally in-line with strong prior-year levels. Our plans call for the fourth quarter to show the highest earnings growth of the year, with increasing contributions from pricing actions we have taken to partially offset significant commodity cost increases. We remain on track to achieve our financial targets for the full 2011 fiscal year." 

General Mills reaffirmed fiscal 2011 guidance of low single-digit growth in net sales, mid single-digit growth in segment operating profit and earnings per share of $2.46 to $2.48 excluding a net tax benefit recorded in the second quarter and any mark-to-market effects. This EPS guidance represents growth of 7 to 8 percent from 2010 adjusted diluted earnings per share of $2.30.

"The global operating environment and heightened commodity-market volatility are certainly challenging, yet our businesses are performing in line with our long-term model," Powell said. "We expect to generate good sales and earnings growth in the final quarter of this year, and meet the targets we set for fiscal 2011 in total. As we look forward to fiscal 2012, we currently anticipate that supply chain inflation will be higher than this year's estimated 4 to 5 percent rate. Nevertheless, we expect to target another year of good business growth in 2012."

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