The headline, "General Mills Reaffirms Double-Digit Growth Plan," in this week's
Minneapolis Star Tribune
sure got me to take a look at the stock. Anything down 20% that sells at a price earnings multiple in the teens with teenage growth, count me in.
Double-digit growth, cheap stock, what's not to like? And then I read the story.
isn't growing at double-digits. Not at all. It is growing at mid-single digits IN SALES. The double-digit stuff, that's all from the expense stuff you see at all of the old-line firms. The company hopes to find $500 million in productivity gains and expenses.
Nope. That's not what I want. If the Web grows organically, this is inorganic. If the Web is viral in nature, this is comatose.
We like rapid revenue growth. Earnings per share? Don't mean that much to me. Because it has been corrupted by tax rates and expenses and all of this other bottom line stuff that can make slow-growing companies look like fast-growing companies.
So let GIS go up its eighth of a point. Let people feel good about an undervalued franchise.
I am trying
to find the next Cisco
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-founder of TheStreet.com. At time of publication, his fund was long Cisco Systems. His fund often buys and sells securities that are the subject of his columns, both before and after the columns are published, and the positions that his fund takes may change at any time. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column at