The Big "G" Stands for Growth: General Mills Reveals Q3 Figure"

General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) came out with quarterly financial figures before the opening bell Wednesday.

The cereal maker, based in Minneapolis, reported net sales in the third quarter increased 8% to $4.2 billion, and were up 10% in constant currency. Operating profit totaled $651 million, up 14% from last year due primarily to higher net sales and gross margin. Adjusted operating profit increased 25% in constant currency.

Diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $0.74 declined 54% from the year-ago period. Adjusted diluted EPS of $0.83 increased 6% in constant currency.

Net earnings attributable to General Mills totaled $447 million compared to $941 million a year ago, primarily reflecting benefits from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in last year's third quarter.

"We had a strong third quarter, with positive organic sales growth and significant operating margin expansion," said CEO Jeff Harmening. "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."

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019, General Mills expects Blue Buffalo's net sales and segment operating profit growth will accelerate meaningfully, driven by significant distribution expansion in the FDM channel.

Shares soared $1.90, or 4%, to $49.14