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Why Shares of General Mills, Inc. Plunged Today

By Travis Hoium - Sep 18, 2018 at 3:12PM

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A revenue miss left investors with a bad taste today.

What happened 

Shares of food giant General Mills, Inc. (GIS -1.10%) fell as much as 8.8% in trading Tuesday after reporting fiscal first-quarter 2019 earnings. At 1:55 p.m. EDT shares were still down 7.7% on the day. 

So what

Quarterly revenue jumped 9% to $4.09 billion but was driven by acquisitions because organic volume fell 1%. Net income was $392.3 million, or $0.65 per share on a GAAP basis. On a non-GAAP basis, which pulls out one-time costs, earnings were $0.71 per share.

Yogurt with granola and strawberries in a bowl.

Image source: Getty Images.

Revenue fell slightly short of the $4.12 billion that analysts were expecting, but adjusted earnings easily topped the $0.64 per share bar set by Wall Street. Clearly, the focus wasn't on earnings today, it was on top-line growth after acquiring Blue Buffalo for $8 billion earlier this year.

Now what

Analysts and investors were in a tough spot trying to guess General Mills' growth after incorporating Blue Buffalo into the business. That's one reason estimates were a little high, but it's worth noting that management has been able to control costs and beat estimates on the bottom line, which has been a challenge in recent quarters pressured by transportation costs. I wouldn't read too much into the reaction today and think we're in the early innings of extracting value from acquisitions like Blue Buffalo, which has a long growth runway for General Mills.  

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