Market Report -- Story Stocks ()
February 19, 2013 7:58 AM ET
General Mills shares little changed following reaffirmation of guidance General Mills
$44.59 +0.00) reaffirmed guidance for fiscal year 2013 with EPS of $2.65-2.67, excluding non-recurring items, versus the $2.68 Capital IQ consensus. "We are completing a two-year period of significant investment that strengthened our business in our core U.S. market and meaningfully expanded our base in international markets. Our focus now is on integrating the new operations and executing well across the entire co. We see stronger growth in our immediate future. In December, we raised our earnings outlook for fiscal 2013. And in fiscal 2014, our plans call for high single-digit EPS growth (consensus +7.8%), consistent with our long-term model." "Our plans for fiscal 2014 call for returning greater levels of cash to shareholders through both increased share repurchase activity and dividend growth." Repurchase activity is expected to reduce the average number of diluted shares outstanding by 2 percent in fiscal 2014. General Mills said its U.S. Retail segment is expected to achieve low single-digit sales growth and stronger operating profit growth in fiscal 2013. Chief Operating Officer for U.S. Retail Ian Friendly said 2014 plans add up to another year of good growth. General Mills expects reported net sales from international operations to exceed $5 billion in fiscal 2013. "We've made several acquisitions recently-most notably the international Yoplait yogurt business and Yoki Alimentos in Brazil. But growth from our base business has been the real story. Excluding acquisitions, international sales have been growing at a high single-digit compound rate over the past five years. In fiscal 2014, we expect our established businesses to record continued sales and profit growth, and we expect our new businesses to contribute sales growth and approximately 15 cents of operating earnings per share."
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