Way back, before I was even a blip on the radar screen, my mother was an executive secretary at Minnesota's General Mills
For instance, J. M. Smucker
If you think you're confused, you might be in good company. It's possible that the accountants at General Mills are just as befuddled, because the company revealed this morning that it has responded to a Wells notice. This means that the SEC is moving toward a civil lawsuit related to its accounting and disclosure of sales practices.
And that wasn't the end of the bad news. For the third quarter of fiscal 2004, General Mills posted flat earnings of $0.63 per share on a slim 2% rise in sales. If we strain out the costs related to the acquisitions summarized above (See how that goofy introduction actually becomes useful here?) the results would show a small drop in earnings, from $0.67 to $0.64 per share.
If there's a silver lining in these clouds, it's that Chairman and CEO Steve Sanger -- who could be a target of the SEC investigation -- didn't try to sugar coat the numbers, saying "Our third-quarter results were disappointing." The future outlook offers no cakewalk either, with guidance of 13% EPS growth for 2004 and single digits for 2005.
With the firm grinding through slow growth and the clouds of scandal gathering, shoppers would be better off leaving General Mills' stock out of their carts.
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