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General Mills Reaffirms 2013 Outlook

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Packaged food company General Mills, Inc. (GIS: Quote) on Wednesday reaffirmed its financial outlook for the full-year 2013, saying "it was on track to achieve its key financial targets for the fiscal year 2013."

The company also said its first-quarter results were modestly ahead of plans, and currently expects second-quarter financial results to meet its expectations, which will be reported on December 19.

At the Morgan Stanley Global Consumer and Retail Conference in New York earlier in the day, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based maker of Cheerios and Fiber One cereals reaffirmed its adjusted earnings outlook for fiscal 2013 of about $2.65 per share.

On average, 21 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters currently expect the company to report earnings of $2.67 per share for the year. Analysts estimates typically exclude special items.

Wall Street analysts' are also currently expecting net sales for fiscal 2013 to grow 6.6 percent to $17.76 billion from last year. The company said it expects improving sales trends for balance of 2013.

General Mills is scheduled to report second-quarter results on Wednesday, December 19. Analysts expect the company to earn $0.79 per share for the second quarter on revenues of $4.88 billion.

In the year-ago second quarter, the company reported a profit of $444.8 million or $0.67 per share , and adjusted earnings of $0.76 per share. Net sales for the quarter grew 14 percent to $3.85 billion.

Like most packaged food companies, General Mills is witnessing improvement in sales with economic uncertainties forcing families to stick largely to eat-at-home habit. However, higher commodity costs and other production necessities like fuel continue to hit margins.

The branded foods giant had noted earlier that fiscal 2012 saw the highest level of commodity inflation in 30 years.

In mid-September, General Mills reported a profit for the first quarter of fiscal 2013 that increased 35 percent from last year, primarily reflecting one-time gains and strong international performance amid contributions from latest acquisitions. Net income grew to $548.9 million or $0.82 per share from $405.6 million or $0.61 per share last year. Net sales increased 5.3 percent to $4.05 billion from last year.

In Wednesday's regular trading session, GIS is currently trading at $39.87, up $0.52 or 1.32% on a volume of 0.55 million shares.

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by RTT Staff Writer

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