General Mills Earnings: Behind the Numbers

MINNEAPOLIS ( TheStreet) -- General Mills ( GIS) shares fell Wednesday morning after the food processor forecast rising commodity cost inflation.

General Mills, the maker of Cheerios cereals, Nature Valley snack bars, Progresso soups and Totino's pizzas said costs will rise between 4% and 5% this year as prices increase for fuel, dairy, resin-based packaging, cocoa and wheat -- and those prices are expected to rise again in fiscal 2012.

Investors traded General Mills' stock down 2.8% in early trading to $35.86.

General Mills has had success in the past dealing with higher costs through expense reductions and the introduction of new higher-priced products.

"They have a lot weapons in their arsenal to try to offset that beyond raising prices, but they're not immune," Morningstar analyst Erin Lash told Reuters.

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