General Mills Earnings Preview: Lucky Charms For Investors?
General Mills (NYSE: GIS), the second-largest U.S. food company, reports fiscal second-quarter earnings before the bell on Tuesday morning. Analysts expect an adjusted profit of 79 cents per share on revenue of $4.6 billion. In the year earlier quarter, General Mills earned 76 cents on an adjusted basis on revenue of $4.07 billion.
The call for 79 cents a share was pared from 80 cents in the past 90 days, but real news will be how General Mills is handling increased costs. The company is the leader or in the Number Two spot in 11 food categories and has been able to pass price increases along to consumers without much resistance.
Beyond that, in a tough year for stocks in 2011, Big G is up almost 12% year-to-date. That lags the returns of larger rival Kraft (NYSE: KFT), though it should be noted General Mills has outperformed Kraft for several years. General Mills has also sharply outperformed rival Kellogg (NYSE: K) and easily outpaced the S&P 500.
The Dividend: Based on Monday's close, General Mills currently yields 3.1%, which is slightly above the five-year average. The dividend has been raised three times in the past two years, so an increase post-earnings is possible, though not probable.
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