General Mills (GIS - Get Report) served up better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings on Wednesday as a jump in sales primarily driven by its recently acquired Blue Buffalo unit prompted the company to raise guidance.
In its fiscal third quarter ended Feb. 24, the company said it earned an adjusted $447 million, or 74 cents a share, compared with $941 million, or $1.62 a share, in the comparable year-earlier period. Analysts polled by FactSet had been expecting earnings of 69 cents a share.
Sales increased 8% to $4.2 billion, while operating profit gained 14% to $651 million.
The addition of pet-food maker Blue Buffalo, which General Mills acquired in April 2018, and stronger sales in Asia and Latin America as well as within the company's North American retail and convenience stores and food-service segments was partially offset by a decline in sales in Europe and Australia, General Mills said.
The food manufacturer, which also produces international brands like Cheerios, Pillsbury, and Haagen-Dazs ice cream, suffered a setback in January after it issued a voluntarily recall of certain bags of its Gold Medal branded unbleached flour over salmonella concerns.
The stock has recovered since then, and gained an additional 3% in early trading on Wednesday, rising $1.67 to $48.90 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has gained more than 20% since hitting a 52-week low of $36.42 in mid-December.
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