General Mills Thrashes Out Decent Quarter
Ups guidance despite rising costs.
In the period ended August 24th, the company earned $278.5 million, or $0.79 per share. That was just south of the $288.9 million or $0.81 per share it turned in during the same period last year. However, excluding a reduction, earnings rose 19% to $0.96 per share - good news, because the Street was reportedly looking for just $0.87.
Its top line was solid too. General Mills reported first-quarter revenue of roughly $3.5 billion. And that's good news because it's a 13.8% jump over what it reported in the comparable quarter last year. It was also north of the roughly $3.3 billion the sell side had apparently been looking for.
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According to the release not counting a gain on the sale of a business, "and assuming no mark-to-market impact in fiscal 2009, the company updated its earnings guidance to a range of $3.81 to $3.85 per share." On the downside, its cost of sales rose 20.3%, to about $2.3 billion. That's big, and it does temper my enthusiasm a bit.
Folks, that is up from the $3.78 to $3.83 it offered up in conjunction with its fourth-quarter results back in June. It's also essentially in line with the current estimate of $3.84 a share. Finally, I think it's interesting that the company upped its guidance so early on in the year - it's a sign of confidence to me.In short, I think that this was a solid quarter. I believe the results could lead to some positive research in the days ahead, and institutions looking for a play in this space could perhaps warm to the story.
General Mills closed at $69.74, up $1.19 or 1.74%.
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