General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “General Mills' consumer-focused innovation, marketing initiatives and robust restructuring savings are making up for the sluggish revenue growth. The company is currently pursuing several initiatives focused on improving operational efficiency to generate cost savings and support its key growth strategies. By fiscal 2018, the company expects to achieve cost savings through increased efficiency, reduced complexity through SKU optimization, further supply chain optimization and continued expansion of zero-based budgeting across the business, which will result in accelerated margin expansion. However, General Mills' shares have underperformed the industry so far this year. Slowing organic volumes are overshadowing minor improvements in profit margins. Earnings estimates for the current quarter and the year have been revised downward by 3.5% and 1%, respectively, over the last 60 days, reflecting analyst concerns surrounding the stock.”

A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on GIS. BidaskClub raised General Mills from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, August 22nd. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $58.00 price objective on shares of General Mills in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $56.00 price objective on General Mills and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research report on Monday, August 7th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating on shares of General Mills in a research report on Tuesday, August 8th. Finally, Consumer Edge raised General Mills from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, September 8th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. General Mills has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $56.60.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, September 20th. The company reported $0.71 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.76 by ($0.05). The company had revenue of $3.77 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $3.79 billion. General Mills had a net margin of 10.68% and a return on equity of 39.82%. The firm’s revenue was down 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the business posted $0.78 EPS.

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Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of General Mills by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 3,242 shares of the company’s stock valued at $180,000 after buying an additional 11 shares during the last quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of General Mills by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Lenox Wealth Advisors Inc. now owns 1,833 shares of the company’s stock valued at $102,000 after buying an additional 15 shares during the last quarter. LLBH Private Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in shares of General Mills by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. LLBH Private Wealth Management LLC now owns 4,343 shares of the company’s stock valued at $241,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Davis R M Inc. raised its stake in shares of General Mills by 0.8% during the 2nd quarter. Davis R M Inc. now owns 4,197 shares of the company’s stock valued at $233,000 after buying an additional 34 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Hanson McClain Inc. raised its stake in shares of General Mills by 1.5% during the 1st quarter. Hanson McClain Inc. now owns 2,346 shares of the company’s stock valued at $138,000 after buying an additional 35 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.69% of the company’s stock.

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.

Analyst Recommendations for General Mills (NYSE:GIS)

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