General Mills, Inc. (GIS) Cut to Sell at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note released on Wednesday, May 24th.

According to Zacks, “Sales and profits at General Mills’ North America Retail segment, contributing 66% to its sales, have been soft due to lower demand amid changing consumer food preferences. Moreover, the U.S. cereal category has been declining in the recent years, with net sales decreasing 3% in the first nine months of fiscal 2017. Organically, sales growth is expected to drop approximately 4% in fiscal 2017, primarily due to a widening gap between the company's level of promotional activity and that of competitors in the U.S. yogurt and soup categories. Though General Mills is focused on innovation, marketing initiatives and restructuring savings, we believe a material improvement will take time. The company’s shares have also underperformed the Zacks categorized Food-Miscellaneous/Diversified industry year-to-date.”

Several other analysts also recently issued reports on GIS. Argus restated a hold rating on shares of General Mills in a research report on Thursday, March 23rd. Royal Bank of Canada set a $65.00 target price on General Mills and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, April 24th. Credit Suisse Group reiterated a neutral rating and issued a $56.00 target price (down from $65.00) on shares of General Mills in a research note on Friday, May 19th. Vetr lowered General Mills from a buy rating to a hold rating and set a $57.45 target price for the company. in a research note on Tuesday, May 2nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a hold rating and issued a $67.00 target price on shares of General Mills in a research note on Wednesday, March 22nd. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. General Mills presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $63.67.

Shares of General Mills (NYSE GIS) traded down 2.94% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $57.10. 7,376,746 shares of the company traded hands. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $56.96 and a 200 day moving average price of $59.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $32.90 billion, a PE ratio of 21.16 and a beta of 0.60. General Mills has a 1-year low of $55.57 and a 1-year high of $72.95.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, March 21st. The company reported $0.72 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.71 by $0.01. General Mills had a return on equity of 37.15% and a net margin of 10.34%. The business had revenue of $3.79 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.82 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.65 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was down 5.2% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts expect that General Mills will post $3.05 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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In other General Mills news, insider Jonathon Nudi bought 1,800 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, April 12th. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $57.45 per share, for a total transaction of $103,410.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 34,077 shares in the company, valued at $1,957,723.65. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 1.30% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of GIS. Albion Financial Group UT boosted its stake in General Mills by 17.0% in the third quarter. Albion Financial Group UT now owns 32,472 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,074,000 after buying an additional 4,718 shares in the last quarter. Dumont & Blake Investment Advisors LLC boosted its stake in General Mills by 8.4% in the third quarter. Dumont & Blake Investment Advisors LLC now owns 6,600 shares of the company’s stock valued at $422,000 after buying an additional 510 shares in the last quarter. Investment Partners Ltd. OH ADV acquired a new stake in General Mills during the third quarter valued at approximately $270,000. Quantitative Investment Management LLC acquired a new stake in General Mills during the third quarter valued at approximately $17,439,000. Finally, First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in General Mills by 28.8% in the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 1,353,593 shares of the company’s stock valued at $86,468,000 after buying an additional 302,484 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 70.52% of the company’s stock.

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.

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