The Minneapolis-based maker of Cheerios earned $268 million, or 74 cents a share, for the quarter ended Feb. 25, up from the year-ago $246 million, or 68 cents a share. Sales rose to $3.05 billion from $2.88 billion a year earlier.
Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were looking for a 70-cent profit on sales of $2.98 billion.
In the fourth quarter, General Mills expects input costs to be above both current year-to-date and year-ago levels. Consumer marketing expense is expected to be above year-ago levels, reflecting continued reinvestment in brand-building activities. The company has initiated evaluations of certain assets that may result in impairment or restructuring charges. Tax planning activities may result in a further reduction to the 2007 effective tax rate.
The company guided to a full-year profit of $3.14 to $3.16 a share, in line with the $3.16 Thomson estimate.