Will General Mills Help You Retire Rich?http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2012/02/28/will-general-mills-help-you-retire-rich.aspx Dan Caplinger
February 28, 2012
Now more than ever, a comfortable retirement depends on secure, stable investments. Unfortunately, the right stocks for retirement won't just fall into your lap. In this series, I look at 10 measures to show what makes a great retirement-oriented stock.
Cereal may not seem like a glamorous business, but General Mills (NYSE: GIS ) has turned it into a highly profitable one for decades. With a wide variety of food products, General Mills goes beyond the breakfast table in its effort to capture the appetites of its customers. With food inflation having hurt margins, however, does General Mills have what it takes to stay successful? Below, we'll revisit how General Mills does on our 10-point scale.
The right stocks for retirees
Sure, you still want good returns, but you also need to manage your risk and protect yourself against bear markets, which can maul your finances at the worst possible time. The right stocks combine both of these elements in a single investment.
When scrutinizing a stock, retirees should look for:
With those factors in mind, let's take a closer look at General Mills.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. *This figure is a gain; General Mills hasn't suffered a loss in the past five years. Total score = number of passes.
Since we looked at General Mills last year, the company has kept its eight-point score. With a nice dividend increase, General Mills got another year closer to earning its ninth point.
Rising food prices have challenged not only General Mills but other players in the industry as well. Kraft Foods (NYSE: KFT ) and ConAgra (NYSE: CAG ) have also seen the input costs of the ingredients they use for their processed-food offerings rise. But like Kraft and ConAgra, General Mills has been able to pass on much of tha