General Mills Q3 adj. EPS 79 cents; FactSet consensus 78 cents

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General Mills CEO ‘disappointed’ with revenue, unveils cost cuts and revenue-boosting measures

General Mills Inc. said Wednesday it had net income of $941 million, or $1.62 a share, in its fiscal third quarter to Feb. 25, up from $357.8 million, or 61 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, boosted by a tax benefit from the December revamp. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 79 cents, a penny ahead of the FactSet consensus of 78 cents. Sales rose 2% to $3.88 billion, also ahead of the FactSet consensus of $3.87 billion. The company, which recently announced the proposed acquisition of Blue Buffalo Pet Products Inc., said it will continue to pursue a consumer first strategy aimed at boosting profitability. It is also planning actions to offset rising freight costs, further cost cuts and actions aimed at increasing revenue. Chief Executive Jeff Harmening said he was disappointed with the the company’s bottom-line results. “Our third-quarter operating profit fell well short of our expectations, and cost pressures are impacting our full-year outlook,” he wrote. “Like the broader industry, we’re seeing sharp increases in input costs, including inflation in freight and commodities. Because of our improved volume performance, we’re also incurring higher operational costs.” Shares fell almost 4% premarket and are down 16% in the last 12 months, while the S&P 500 has gained 16%.

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