General Mills: The Yogurt Machine Delivers

Source: Thinkstock
General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) reported fiscal third-quarter 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The food processing and packaged foods maker posted adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.64 on revenues of $4.43 billion. In the same period a year ago, General Mills reported EPS of $0.55 on revenue of $4.12 billion. Third-quarter results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.57 and $4.36 billion in revenue.

On a GAAP basis, the company’s EPS totaled $0.60, which excluded a $0.02 mark-to-market gain due to commodity hedging and other gains totaling another $0.02.

The company’s CEO said:

Our sales and volume growth reflects contributions from new businesses and from established products. Operating profit results for the quarter were particularly good, with double-digit increases for both our U.S. Retail and Bakeries and Foodservice segments. … We are continuing to see slow, but steady, improvement in the operating environment. Trends in our established businesses are improving, and integration of our new businesses is going smoothly. We’re preparing to launch a promising slate of new products as our new fiscal year begins this summer, and our plans for fiscal 2014 call for high single-digit EPS growth, consistent with our long-term model.

General Mills also provided an update on its 2013 outlook. The company expects supply chain costs will rise by 3% for the full fiscal year. The company also raised its full-year adjusted EPS range from a previous level of $2.65 to $2.67 to a new range of $2.66 to $2.68. The consensus estimate had called for EPS $2.68.

Sales in the company’s international division grew 24% in the quarter, compared with growth in U.S. sales of just 2%. The company’s Yoplait yogurt products probably deserve most of the credit for sales growth, although the CEO called out a long list of brands that did well in the quarter.

Shares are down about 0.3% in premarket trading this morning, at $46.30 in a 52-week range of $36.75 to $46.72. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $44.80 before today’s results were announced.

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