General Mills Fades on Earnings

General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) noticed its shares declining Wednesday, on reporting quarterly earnings before the opening bell.

The Minneapolis-based cereal giant said net sales increased 9% to $4.4 billion and organic net sales were up 10%, reflecting increased pound volume due to elevated at-home food demand resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as positive net price realization and mix.

Operating profit of $854 million was up 29%, primarily driven by higher net sales, higher gross margin as a percent of net sales, and lower mark-to-market and restructuring charges, partially offset by higher selling, general, and administrative expenses, including higher media investment .

Net earnings attributable to General Mills increased 23% to $639 million and diluted EPS increased 21% to $1.03, primarily reflecting higher operating profit and higher after-tax earnings from joint ventures

Said CEO Jeff Harmening, "We continued to drive exceptional results this quarter, highlighted by broad-based market share gains amid elevated at-home food demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The fundamentals of our business are strong. We’re investing in our brands, executing with speed and agility, and maintaining our focus on the health and safety of our employees and our consumers.

"And, importantly, we’re resuming dividend growth sooner than initially planned. I’m more confident than ever that General Mills is poised to emerge from the pandemic a stronger company and in a position to generate consistent, profitable growth and top-tier returns for our shareholders."

GIS shares began trading Wednesday down 37 cents to $57.62.