Shares of General Mills (GIS - Get Report) were lower in pre-market trading on Wednesday following a downgrade to "hold" from "buy" with a price target of $60. at Stifel Nicolaus.

"We are downgrading General Mills to Hold from Buy reflecting our growing concern around the sales improvement at the company and the related margin improvement outlook," Stifel analyst Christopher Growe wrote. "With the shares continuing to trade in line with their food peers and continued risk to the company's sales and margin outlook through FY18, we foresee less upside potential from this level.

He believes the "hold" rating is more applicable on the stock until consumption trends strengthen within the business.