What happened 

Shares of General Mills (NYSE:GIS) were up 15.1% in the first half of 2020, according to data provided by S&P Global Market Intelligence, as the company performed well during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

So what 

That makes sense, since General Mills' products are performing well in grocery stores, more than offsetting losses in restaurant sales. That's exemplified by the company's 21% increase in sales in the fiscal fourth quarter, which ended May 31. Organic sales were even up an impressive 16%, a rate you wouldn't normally see in the food business. 

Person shopping in a grocery store.

Image source: Getty Images.

Convenience and food-service sales struggled as restaurant sales declined, resulting in a 24% drop. But North American retail grocery sales were up 36% and pet sales jumped 37% versus a year ago. There doesn't seem to be an end in sight to the pandemic, so the increase in sales may last for a while.

Now what 

It's hard to see how General Mills doesn't come out of COVID-19 a winner when compared with most other companies. And shares now trade at just 17.7 times trailing earnings, a ratio that could drop if the recent increase in sales and earnings holds. This may not be a high-growth stock long term, but it may be one of the best value stocks on the market.