General Mills Inc. (GIS) is getting a healthy start to the morning.
The Minneapolis-based food company reported adjusted earnings of 82 cents a share in its fiscal second quarter on Wednesday, Dec. 20, which was in line with FactSet analysts' expectations but down 4% from the previous year.
Revenue totaled $4.2 billion, which topped Wall Street's forecast of $4.1 billion. Sales increased 2% over the same time last year. Organic net sales increased 1%, with growth across all four of the company's operating segments.
Sales growth was led by the U.S. cereal operating unit, up 5%, and the U.S. snacks unit, up 7%. U.S. yogurt sales declined 11%.
While operating profit was down 4% for the first half of the fiscal year from last year, General Mills said in a statement that it is "confident" it will be able to deliver profit growth during the second half of the year.
First-half operating cash flow for General Mills increased 45% to $1.6 billion and free cash flow for the fiscal second quarter gained 72% to $1.3 billion.
The earnings sent General Mills stock higher 1.1% in premarket trading on Wednesday. By the market open, shares were flat at $57.58. Since the start of the year, shares have fallen about 6.5%.
Looking ahead, the company raised full-year guidance. General Mills said it now expects full-year organic net sales to range between flat to down 1%, compared to a previous estimate of net sales down 1% to 2% for the year. The company maintained guidance for earnings and profit.
More than 75% of General Mills' revenue comes from North American retail and foodservice products, including its top-selling brands Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Yoplait and Old El Paso.
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