General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) was the target of a significant increase in short interest in the month of August. As of August 15th, there was short interest totalling 21,056,297 shares, an increase of 22.5% from the July 31st total of 17,184,993 shares. Based on an average trading volume of 4,001,545 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is currently 5.3 days. Approximately 3.7% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

A number of equities research analysts have commented on the company. BidaskClub raised General Mills from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, June 15th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $67.00 price target on shares of General Mills in a report on Thursday, June 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised General Mills from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, June 2nd. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc reissued a “neutral” rating and set a $59.00 price target (down from $62.00) on shares of General Mills in a report on Tuesday, May 30th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies restated an “underweight” rating and set a $56.00 price objective (down previously from $57.00) on shares of General Mills in a research report on Monday, June 19th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $59.93.

Institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Lenox Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its position in General Mills by 0.8% in the second quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 1,833 shares of the company’s stock worth $102,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. increased its stake in General Mills by 2.9% in the second quarter. Winslow Evans & Crocker Inc. now owns 2,461 shares of the company’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 69 shares during the last quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. increased its stake in General Mills by 1.5% in the first quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 2,346 shares of the company’s stock worth $138,000 after buying an additional 35 shares during the last quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in General Mills by 33.4% in the first quarter. IHT Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,506 shares of the company’s stock worth $146,000 after buying an additional 627 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Assetmark Inc. increased its stake in General Mills by 11.2% in the first quarter. Assetmark Inc. now owns 2,506 shares of the company’s stock worth $148,000 after buying an additional 253 shares during the last quarter. 69.46% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

General Mills (GIS) opened at 53.93 on Wednesday. General Mills has a 52-week low of $53.24 and a 52-week high of $71.68. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $55.47 and a 200 day moving average price of $57.57. The stock has a market cap of $31.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.47 and a beta of 0.61.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, June 28th. The company reported $0.73 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.71 by $0.02. The business had revenue of $3.81 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $3.75 billion. General Mills had a net margin of 10.61% and a return on equity of 38.97%. The company’s revenue was down 3.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.66 earnings per share. On average, analysts expect that General Mills will post $3.11 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, August 1st. Stockholders of record on Monday, July 10th were given a $0.49 dividend. This represents a $1.96 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.63%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, July 6th. This is a positive change from General Mills’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.48. General Mills’s payout ratio is currently 70.76%.

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About General Mills

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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