General Mills (NYSE:GIS) reported fiscal-second-quarter results this morning and the figures were a little stale. Growth was non-existent with sales of $4.88 billion falling slightly from a year ago. And net income was up a paltry 1.5% in the quarter to $549.9 million, or $0.84 per share.
Results missed Wall Street's expectations, most notably $0.05 short of earnings per share targets. Missing expectations can often cause a stock to plunge but shares are only trading slightly lower today, which is in part due to guidance.
Management was confident that higher costs and a rough foreign exchange translation will be short-term headwinds and said full-year guidance would remain at $2.87 to $2.90 per share. That's at the bottom end of expectations, so there's little wiggle room to miss results in the third quarter.
This is really a stable business, but it's clearly not in growth mode anymore. Any more than low single-digit growth would be outstanding for General Mills and while this quarter was even worse than that, I don't think it's reason for investors to panic.
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