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General Mills Tops Q2 Earnings Forecast, Confirms Fiscal 2020 Profit Guidance

General Mills confirmed its full-year profit guidance Wednesday after solid pet food sales supported stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings.

General Mills Inc.  (GIS) - Get Free Report posted stronger-than-expected second quarter earnings Wednesday, and re-affirmed its full-year profit guidance, as pet food sales supported topline growth for the consumer brands giant.

General Mills said earnings for the three months ending in November, the company's fiscal second quarter, came in at 95 cents per share, up 11.8% from the same period last year and well ahead of the Street consensus forecast of 88 cents per share. Group revenues, General Mills said, were essentially flat to last year at $4.4 billion, but again topped analysts' forecasts of a $4.35 billion tally.

Looking into its 2020 fiscal year, General Mills confirmed its target of earnings growth in the region of 3% to 5%, from a 2019 base of $3.22 per share, and organic net sales growth of between 1% and 2%.

 “I’m encouraged by our second-quarter performance, including the broad-based improvement in our organic sales trends and positive results on the bottom line,” said CEO Jeff Harmening. “We will build on our topline momentum in the second half, fueled by increased investment in our brands."

General Mills shares were marked 2.55% higher in pre-market trading immediately following the earnings release to indicate an opening bell price of $53.50 each, a move that would extend its year-to-date gain to around 35.6%.

Sales at General Mills pet segment rose 16% to $389 million, as the launch of its Blue Buffalo pet food line at Walmart  (WMT) - Get Free Report stores partly offsetting flat sales for convenience stores and foodservice and 5% year-on-year declines for sales in Europe & Australia and Asia & Latin America.