General Mills, Inc. Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, March 21, 2012. General Mills is a manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. It also supplies branded and unbranded food products to the food service and commercial baking industries.

General Mills, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for net income of 56 cents per share, no change from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 60 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate was unchanged. It has since dropped over the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $2.54 per share, a rise of 2.4% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company fell short of estimates last quarter after topping forecasts the quarter prior. In the second quarter, it reported net income of 76 cents per share against a mean estimate of 79 cents. Two quarters ago, it beat expectations by 2 cents with profit of 64 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts predict a rise of 11.8% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $4.08 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are optimistic about this stock, with 12 analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and six rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit fell 27.5% to $444.8 million (67 cents a share) from $613.9 million (92 cents a share) the year earlier, missing analyst expectations. Revenue rose 13.7% to $4.62 billion from $4.07 billion.

Key Stats:

Revenue has gone up in the past four quarters. Revenue rose 8.9% in the first quarter from the year earlier, climbed 1.8% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 0.5% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

In each of the last two quarters, the company’s net income has fallen. Net income dropped 14.1% in the first quarter.

Stock Price Performance: Between January 18, 2012 and March 15, 2012, the stock price had fallen $2.36 (-5.7%), from $41.05 to $38.69. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between October 3, 2011 and October 11, 2011, when shares rose for seven straight days, increasing 6% (+$2.25) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between February 1, 2012 and February 8, 2012 when shares fell for six straight days, dropping 2.5% (-$1) over that span.

(Company fundamentals by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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To contact the reporter on this story: Derek Hoffman at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Damien Hoffman at