General Mills beats earnings forecast for 1st quarter

September 18, 2018

General Mills posted a better-than-expected start to its fiscal year Tuesday as investors closely watch how the Blue Buffalo acquisition will impact the company’s earnings.

The food maker, based in Golden Valley, reported earnings per share of 65 cents on a profit of $392.3 million for its first quarter ending Aug. 26. Adjusted for one-time accounting expenses like the Blue Buffalo purchase, General Mills posted adjusted earnings per share of 71 cents, beating Wall Street consensus of 64 cents a share, according to 15 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters ahead of the results.

The maker of Cheerios, Yoplait and Betty Crocker products posted sales of $4.09 billion, a 9 percent increase over the same period last year largely due to the inclusion of Blue Buffalo. Analysts expected quarterly sales to reach $4.11 billion.

Organic net sales — a measure for sales generated within the company rather than through acquisitions — grew, though modestly, at less than 1 percent. The company attributed this improvement to better pricing.

General Mills reaffirmed its full-year guidance for fiscal 2019.

“Fiscal 2019 is off to a good start,” said Jeff Harmening, General Mills chairman and chief executive, in a news release. “We drove organic net sales growth for the fourth consecutive quarter.”

General Mills’ stock price has fallen nearly 20 percent since the start of the year.

Kristen Leigh Painter • 612-673-4767

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