9. General Mills (GIS) is a global manufacturer and marketer of consumer foods sold through retail stores. The company has manufacturing facilities in 15 countries and a marketing network in more than 100 countries.
Net sales grew 2% to $3.65 billion during the December quarter. Gross margin expanded during the quarter. Operating profit grew 10% in the third quarter, led by the company's international business segment. Third-quarter net earnings grew $392 million, up 18%, due to an increase in the mark-to-market commodity positions.
Management reaffirms fiscal 2011 guidance of single-digit growth in net sales and earnings per share of $2.46 to $2.48, representing 7%-8% growth from 2010 EPS of $2.30.Analysts see 12% upside for the stock in the next year. The stock is trading at 14.7 times its estimated 2011 earnings.
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