General Mills First Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component General Mills (NYSE:GIS) will unveil its latest earnings on Wednesday, September 19, 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 Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average analyst estimate is for profit of 62 cents per share, a decline of 3.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the year-ago quarter. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 68 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 63 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 3.5% versus last year to $2.65.

Past Earnings Performance: The company beat estimates last quarter after falling short in the prior two. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, the company reported net income of 60 cents per share versus a mean estimate of profit of 58 cents per share. In the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the company missed estimates by one cent.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 6.2% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $4.09 billion.

Stock Price Performance: From August 15, 2012 to September 13, 2012, the stock price rose $1.11 (2.9%), from $38.35 to $39.46. It saw one of its worst periods between May 25, 2012 and June 5, 2012 when shares fell for seven straight days, dropping 3.3% (-$1.28) over that span.

Analyst Ratings: With 11 analysts rating the stock a buy, none rating it a sell and six rating the stock a hold, there are indications of a bullish stance by analysts.

Key Stats:

On the top line, the company is looking to build on four-straight revenue increases heading into this earnings announcement. Revenue rose 8.9% in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, 13.7% in the second quarter of the last fiscal year and 13% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year before increasing again in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year of the last fiscal year.

Last quarter’s earnings rise was a switch from preceding drops, so the upcoming earnings announcement is a chance to build on last quarter’s result. Net income fell in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, the second quarter of the last fiscal year and the third quarter of the last fiscal year before snapping that run with a profit increase in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

A Look Back: In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, profit rose 1.6% to $325.4 million (49 cents a share) from $320.2 million (48 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 11.9% to $4.07 billion from $3.63 billion.

Balance Sheet Analysis: The company’s current ratio of assets to liabilities came in at 0.96 last quarter. The current ratio is an indication of a firm’s liquidity and ability to meet creditor demands and generally, a ratio less than one could indicate a company may have difficulty meeting current obligations.

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

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