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Top 5 Large-Caps for Dec. 10

Each business day, Ratings compiles a list of the top five stocks in one of five categories -- fast-growth, all-around value, large-cap, mid-cap and small-cap -- based on data from the close of the previous trading session. Today, large-cap stocks are in the spotlight.

These are stocks of companies with market capitalizations of over $10 billion that rank near the top of all stocks rated by our proprietary quantitative model, which looks at more than 62 factors. In addition, the stocks must be followed by at least one financial analyst who posts estimates on the Institutional Brokers' Estimate System. The stocks are ordered by their potential to appreciate.

Note that no provision is made for off-balance-sheet assets such as unrealized appreciation/depreciation of investments, market value of real estate or contingent liabilities that might affect book value. This could be material for some companies with large underfunded pension plans.

General Mills (GIS - Get Report) is the world's sixth-largest food company, producing packaged consumer foods that are marketed in more than 100 countries. We have rated it a buy since November 2004.

For the first quarter of fiscal 2009, the company reported that it achieved strong results, primarily due to strong consumer demand in worldwide markets. First quarter revenue rose 13.8% year over year, but this revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, as General Mills displayed a decline in earnings per share for the quarter. However, we feel that the company is poised for EPS growth in the coming year, despite reporting somewhat volatile earnings recently. Net sales grew 14% from $3.1 billion in the first quarter of fiscal 2008 to $3.5 billion in the most recent quarter. Net operating cash flow also increased significantly, rising 1,007.4% when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, we consider the company's 37.3% gross profit margin to be strong.
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GIS $58.41 0.00%
MCD $114.23 0.00%
KR $38.01 0.00%
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