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General Mills: The Company of Champions


Its first quarter sees gangbuster results.

Ever notice that when you really need a computer to move fast, it's slow as the day is long? Sometimes I think Ballmer and the folks at Mister Softee really do have it in for me.

The Hang Seng got thumped overnight and ended down 2.52%. However, the Nikkei was up 1.67%. European stocks were in negative territory earlier this morning. And here in the US, we're currently trading higher.

Here's what I'm seeing this morning:

General Mills (GIS):
Eat that!

The food giant released its first-quarter numbers yesterday and I didn't get a chance to weigh in.

There were actually three bits of good news.

Per the release: "Excluding mark-to-market impact" it earned $1.28, and that was a quarter better than expectations.

It also beat on the top line.

And as whipped cream on this sundae, the following line in the release was certainly an eye catcher: "The company also raised its 2010 full-year EPS guidance to a range of $4.40 to $4.45 per share excluding any impact from mark-to-market effects. Previously, the company's 2010 EPS guidance had been a range of $4.20 to $4.25 per share excluding any mark-to-market impact."

My thoughts:

1. I suspect the $4.26 estimate I'm seeing is going to get a little goose.

It's just a matter of time until the shares punch through the 52-week high. With head-turning results like that and an optimistic outlook, there's lots to like.

3. Nobody is talking about it, but its dividend looks as tasty as its Wheaties.

4. This is both a good trade and a good longer-term play here.

For my last take on General Mills, click here.

Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY):
Give the retailer's second-quarter numbers a look.

To its credit, it put up $0.52, which was better than the $0.48 the Street was looking for.
But I still don't think it makes sense to shop the shares.

1. Its sales were up only a little more than 3% and its comps were off about 0.6%, which is no reason to jump up and down.

2. Yes, Bed, Bath & Beyond bulls -- I agree that the beat is good and I admit there's a decent chance we could see a new high. But at 21.9 times this year's estimate, any party that goes on will be without me, as I'll be out shopping at Target (TGT),

Justin Sharon points out in his column today that the shares were downgraded.

For my last take on the company, see Bed, Bath & Beyond Any Chance of Shining?
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No positions in stocks mentioned.

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