General Mills (NYSE:GIS) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday.
According to Zacks, “General Mills' shares have underperformed the industry in the last three months. That said, earnings estimates have been trending upward for the current year and the next over the last 30 days, reflecting analysts' optimism. General Mills' consumer-focused innovation, marketing initiatives and robust restructuring savings are making up for the sluggish revenue growth. The company is currently pursuing several initiatives focused on improving operational efficiency to generate cost savings and support its key growth strategies. That said, slowing organic volumes are overshadowing minor improvements in profit margins. Sales and profits at the company’s North America Retail segment, contributing 66% to its sales, have been soft. The North American food industry has seen sluggish growth and slowdown in consumption over the last few quarters owing to changes in consumer preference.”
GIS has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $61.00 price objective on shares of General Mills and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday. Piper Jaffray Companies raised shares of General Mills from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $63.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, January 3rd. Edward Jones reissued a “hold” rating on shares of General Mills in a report on Wednesday, December 20th. Societe Generale downgraded shares of General Mills from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and reduced their price target for the company from $52.98 to $48.00 in a report on Monday. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of General Mills in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. General Mills presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $57.64.
General Mills (NYSE:GIS) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, December 20th. The company reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, hitting analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.82. The firm had revenue of $4.20 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.08 billion. General Mills had a net margin of 10.29% and a return on equity of 38.89%. The firm’s revenue was up 2.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.85 earnings per share. research analysts predict that General Mills will post 3.16 EPS for the current year.
General Mills announced that its board has authorized a stock repurchase program on Friday, February 23rd that authorizes the company to repurchase shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, insider Bethany C. Quam sold 8,712 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.40, for a total value of $517,492.80. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 36,089 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,143,686.60. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of GIS. 1st Global Advisors Inc. bought a new stake in General Mills in the second quarter worth about $2,600,000. Albert D Mason Inc. raised its position in General Mills by 17.0% in the third quarter. Albert D Mason Inc. now owns 21,170 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,096,000 after acquiring an additional 3,075 shares in the last quarter. Advisor Group Inc. raised its position in General Mills by 7.4% in the third quarter. Advisor Group Inc. now owns 79,871 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,136,000 after acquiring an additional 5,472 shares in the last quarter. Pensionfund DSM Netherlands bought a new stake in General Mills in the third quarter worth about $3,364,000. Finally, Institute for Wealth Management LLC. bought a new stake in General Mills in the second quarter worth about $440,000. 72.89% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
General Mills Company Profile
General Mills, Inc is a manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. The Company is a supplier of branded and unbranded food products to the North American foodservice and commercial baking industries. The Company has three segments: U.S. Retail, International, and Convenience Stores and Foodservice.
For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com
Receive News & Ratings for General Mills Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for General Mills and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.