General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) traded down 0.4% during mid-day trading on Thursday after JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their price target on the stock to $44.00. JPMorgan Chase & Co. currently has a neutral rating on the stock. General Mills traded as low as $44.79 and last traded at $45.31. 5,012,663 shares changed hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 5% from the average session volume of 4,763,559 shares. The stock had previously closed at $45.51.

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on GIS. Argus reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of General Mills in a research note on Wednesday, December 27th. BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of General Mills in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $61.00 price objective on shares of General Mills and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, January 5th. Piper Jaffray Companies raised shares of General Mills from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $63.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Wednesday, January 3rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $60.00 price objective on shares of General Mills and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, December 21st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have assigned a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $55.34.

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In other General Mills news, insider Bethany C. Quam sold 8,712 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.40, for a total transaction of $517,492.80. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 36,089 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,143,686.60. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Corporate insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its position in General Mills by 24.4% during the 4th quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 171,673 shares of the company’s stock valued at $10,178,000 after buying an additional 33,688 shares during the period. Colonial Trust Advisors boosted its position in General Mills by 7.2% during the 4th quarter. Colonial Trust Advisors now owns 50,963 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,022,000 after buying an additional 3,442 shares during the period. Penbrook Management LLC purchased a new stake in General Mills during the 4th quarter valued at $228,000. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB boosted its position in General Mills by 9.3% during the 4th quarter. Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB now owns 77,215 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,578,000 after buying an additional 6,575 shares during the period. Finally, Envestnet Asset Management Inc. boosted its position in General Mills by 4.9% during the 4th quarter. Envestnet Asset Management Inc. now owns 149,200 shares of the company’s stock valued at $8,846,000 after buying an additional 6,943 shares during the period. 74.20% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.79, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 0.81. The stock has a market cap of $28,412.36, a PE ratio of 16.58, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.07 and a beta of 0.72.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, March 21st. The company reported $0.79 EPS for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.01. General Mills had a net margin of 10.29% and a return on equity of 38.89%. The firm had revenue of $3.88 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.87 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.72 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts anticipate that General Mills, Inc. will post 3.17 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, May 1st. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, April 10th will be given a $0.49 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, April 9th. This represents a $1.96 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 4.32%. General Mills’s dividend payout ratio is 71.79%.

General Mills announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Friday, February 23rd that authorizes the company to repurchase shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

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General Mills Company Profile

General Mills, Inc is a manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. The Company is a supplier of branded and unbranded food products to the North American foodservice and commercial baking industries. The Company has three segments: U.S. Retail, International, and Convenience Stores and Foodservice.

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