The maker of Cheerios cereal and Haagen-Dazs ice cream earned an adjusted 79 cents a share in the quarter, 2 cents ahead of Wall Street estimates. Revenue of $4 billion fell 2.2% from a year earlier and came in below forecasts of $4.08 billion. Organic net sales declined 1%.
General Mills said retail sales in North America were flat from a year earlier at $2.38 billion but topped estimates of $2.37 billion.
Pet segment sales rose 7% to $368 million, above forecasts, while revenue at the company's convenience and food service operations fell 4% to $445 million and missed consensus of $471.9 million.
"We are making clear progress in becoming a nimbler, more consumer-connected General Mills," said General Mills Chairman and CEO Jeff Harmening. "Our first-quarter net sales performance included encouraging improvement in North America Retail and strong growth in Pet, driven by good innovation and effective brand-building investment. We got off to a slower start in our other segments, and we're taking actions to drive top-line improvement for those segments and the company starting in the second quarter.
"On the bottom line, we delivered profit and earnings growth ahead of our expectations while continuing to invest in our brands and capabilities," Harmening said. "We remain on track to deliver our fiscal 2020 goals, including accelerating our organic sales growth, maintaining our strong margins, and reducing our leverage."
The company affirmed earlier guidance that fiscal 2020 organic net sales would grow 1% to 2%.
The stock rose 1.4% to $55.80 after trading lower earlier in the session.