General Mills Stands Out in a Weak Consumer Staples Sector

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Consumer staples companies have been a disapointment so far this year, with year-to-date gains of less than half of 1% compared to the 2% gains in the S&P 500 (SPX).

That makes the over-6% year-to-date stock gains of General Mills (GIS) really stand out.

Known for its Cheerios cereal, Yoplait yogurt and other ready-to-eat foods, the Minnesota company will report fiscal fourth-quarter and full-year results Wednesday before the opening bell. Keep an eye on this stock as the company looks to reinvent itself at a time of declining cereal consumption by launching dozens of new products and marketing initiatives.

For the quarter that ended May, the company is expected to earn 71 cents a share on revenue of $4.53 billion, translating to year-over-year growth of 6% and 5.8%, respectively. For the full-year, earnings are projected to be flat to up 0.4% at $2.83 a share, while revenue of $17.86 billion is also expected to be flat.

Despite the tepid revenue forecasts, General Mills is positioning itself to regain market share from rivals such as Kellogg (K) by unveiling 50 new products. These products are aimed at reviving both its cereal and yogurt businesses, which General Mills expects will drive higher revenue and profits in the quarters ahead in its U.S. retail segments.

General Mills, which has been around for almost 150 years, is adjusting to a packaged food industry that has suffered with weak demand as consumers adjust their eating habits. Consumers now want and demand healthier products -- those that are rich in protein like eggs, peanut butter and Greek yogurt. And they want them a competitive prices.

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