What happened

Never underestimate the power of a good breakfast, nor the potential of a good breakfast stock. A day after its share price slid following the release of its quarterly results, cereal king General Mills (GIS 0.34%) was a standout on Wednesday. Its shares rose by nearly 3% on the day, nearly doubling the percentage gain of the S&P 500 index.

So what

It was obvious that investors were having second thoughts about their collective initial reaction to General Mills' fiscal 2023 second-quarter report, which arrived Tuesday morning.

Perhaps it was a case of delayed optimism, as the company actually beat analysts' consensus estimates -- if not spectacularly -- for both revenue and net income. On top of that, the food purveyor raised its guidance for sales growth and non-GAAP (adjusted) earnings. Perhaps the economic slowdown that some fear is in our future affected the market's sentiment, since investors traded out of the stock Tuesday despite the twin beats.

Analysts were notably less gloomy. A clutch of them adjusted their price targets and even their recommendations on General Mills stock.

Now what

For the most part, these changes represented improvements.

Jason English of the ever-influential investment bank Goldman Sachs added $1 to his General Mills price target for a new level of $72 per share, although he maintained his sell recommendation.  

His colleague Nik Modi at RBC expressed more confidence, increasing his price target from $72 to $76 while keeping his sector perform (i.e., neutral) recommendation intact. In a new research note, Modi described the quarter as a "solid" one for the company, particularly within the North American retail segment.