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General Mills Now Expects FY19 Adj. EPS To Exceed Initial Targets - Quick Facts

General Mills (GIS) announced, for fiscal 2019, the company now expects constant-currency adjusted EPS to range between flat and up 1 percent from the base of $3.11 earned in fiscal 2018, which is ahead of the previous range of flat to down 3 percent. Constant-currency adjusted operating profit is expected to finish toward the upper end of the initial guidance range of 6 to 9 percent growth from the base of $2.6 billion reported in fiscal 2018.

For fiscal 2019, organic net sales are expected to finish toward the lower end of the initial guidance range of between flat and up 1 percent. Net sales are also expected to finish toward the lower end of the range of 9 to 10 percent growth in constant currency, including the impact of the Blue Buffalo acquisition.

The company now expects fiscal 2019 free cash flow conversion of at least 105 percent of adjusted after-tax earnings, which is ahead of the previous guidance of at least 95 percent.

For the third-quarter, adjusted EPS totaled $0.83, up 6 percent from the prior year in constant currency, driven by higher adjusted operating profit, partially offset by higher net interest expense, effective tax rate, and average diluted shares outstanding in the quarter. Operating profit totaled $651 million, up 14 percent from last year. Adjusted operating profit was $730 million, increased 25 percent in constant currency, primarily driven by higher net sales, including the addition of Blue Buffalo, and higher adjusted gross margin.

Third-quarter net sales increased 8 percent to $4.20 billion and were up 10 percent in constant currency, driven primarily by the addition of Blue Buffalo. Organic net sales increased 1 percent, for the quarter.

General Mills CEO Jeff Harmening said: "Our year-to-date performance and fourth-quarter plans give us confidence that we will meet or exceed all of our key fiscal 2019 targets. For the full year, we now expect adjusted diluted EPS and free cash flow conversion will exceed our initial targets, net sales will finish toward the lower end of our guidance range, and adjusted operating profit will finish toward the higher end of the range."

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