General Mills: A stock that seems (lucky) charmed


General Mills (GIS) reported that its fourth-quarter net sales increased by 5 percent, leading to a net income increase of almost 100 percent. In the last year, net income per share has jumped from 53 cents to $1.07, and adjusted earnings have gone from 73 cents per share to 86 cents per share. In the same period, total income went from $185.2 million to $358.8 million and sales jumped from $3.47 billion to $3.65 billion.

It's not hard to see how General Mills is benefitting from the recession. Although it is probably most famous for its breakfast cereals, the company's brands cover an array of home cooking options. From instant cooking standbys like Hamburger Helper or Betty Crocker to more traditional ingredients like Gold Medal flour, the company is poised to take advantage of every aspect of the trend toward home cooking.