General Mills Tops Q2 Profit Estimate


General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) reported second-quarter fiscal 2013 results before markets opened this morning. The food processing and packaged foods maker reported adjusted diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.86 on revenues of $4.88 billion. In the same period a year ago, General Mills reported EPS of $0.76 on revenue of $4.62 billion. Today's results also compare to the Thomson Reuters consensus estimates for EPS of $0.79 and $4.88 billion in revenue.

On a GAAP basis, the company's EPS totaled $0.82, which included a $0.04 mark-to-market expense due to commodity hedging.

The company's CEO said:

As we move into the second half, the global operating environment remains challenging. We are working to build on our good performance year-to-date. We're launching a promising slate of new products in our core U.S. market. And we have strong levels of advertising and in-store merchandising planned to support new and existing products in markets worldwide.

General Mills also provided an update on its 2013 outlook. The company expects supply chain costs will rise at the high end of its forecast range of 2% to 3%. The company also raised its full-year adjusted EPS range to $2.65 to $2.67. The consensus estimate had called for EPS $2.67.

The company's growth so far this year has come mainly from its international division, which grew 19% in the quarter, compared with growth in U.S. sales of just 2%. Total U.S. sales are more than double the international total, so the latter should be growing faster. Still, General Mills should be doing better in the United States.

Shares are up 0.6% in premarket trading this morning, at $42.03, a new 52-week high if it holds. The current 52-week range is $36.75 to $41.77. Thomson Reuters had a consensus analyst price target of around $42.50 before today's results were announced.

Paul Ausick

Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Earnings, Food, Retail Tagged: GIS