Unusual Social Activity Around General Mills (GIS) Today

Editor's Note: Any reference to TheStreet Ratings and its underlying recommendation does not reflect the opinion of TheStreet, Inc. or any of its contributors including Jim Cramer or Stephanie Link.

Trade-Ideas LLC identified General Mills ( GIS) as an unusual social activity candidate. In addition to specific proprietary factors, Trade-Ideas identified General Mills as such a stock due to the following factors:

  • GIS has more that 20x the normal benchmarked social activity for this time of the day compared to its average of 4.36 mentions/day.
  • GIS has an average dollar-volume (as measured by average daily share volume multiplied by share price) of $150.8 million.

Identifying stocks with 'Unusual Social Activity' tends to be a valuable process for traders looking to capitalize on the 'talk of the town' stocks that are basking in far more attention from the StockTwits financial community than normal. Good press? Bad press? It ultimately doesn't matter if it's good or bad if you know how to trade around the sentiment. Certain hedge funds use such data for their proprietary algorithms and it is not uncommon to see shared social sentiment play itself out in a stock's price trend.

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More details on GIS:

General Mills, Inc. produces and markets branded consumer foods in the United States and internationally. It also supplies branded and unbranded food products to the foodservice and commercial baking industries. The stock currently has a dividend yield of 3.3%. GIS has a PE ratio of 18.5. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate General Mills a buy, 3 analysts rate it a sell, and 4 rate it a hold.

The average volume for General Mills has been 3.3 million shares per day over the past 30 days. General Mills has a market cap of $31.1 billion and is part of the consumer goods sector and food & beverage industry. Shares are up 1% year-to-date as of the close of trading on Monday.

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TheStreetRatings.com Analysis:

TheStreet Quant Ratings rates General Mills as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels, expanding profit margins, growth in earnings per share and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had generally high debt management risk by most measures that we evaluated.

Highlights from the ratings report include:
  • The return on equity has improved slightly when compared to the same quarter one year prior. This can be construed as a modest strength in the organization. Compared to other companies in the Food Products industry and the overall market, GENERAL MILLS INC's return on equity significantly exceeds that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • 39.14% is the gross profit margin for GENERAL MILLS INC which we consider to be strong. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year. Along with this, the net profit margin of 11.27% is above that of the industry average.
  • GENERAL MILLS INC's earnings per share improvement from the most recent quarter was slightly positive. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, GENERAL MILLS INC increased its bottom line by earning $2.79 versus $2.35 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($2.87 versus $2.79).
  • The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the Food Products industry average, but is less than that of the S&P 500. The net income increased by 1.5% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $541.60 million to $549.90 million.

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