General Mills (GIS) Stock Rating Upgraded by Zacks Investment Research

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “General Mills' shares have lagged the industry year to date, as the company is battling input cost inflation, which is likely to linger going forward. Also, the North American food industry has seen sluggish growth and slowdown in consumption over the last few quarters owing to changes in consumer preference. This has been weighing upon sales and profits of General Mills' North America Retail segment – particularly at cereals and yogurt categories. Nevertheless, General Mills' consumer-focused innovation, marketing initiatives and robust restructuring savings are making up for the tepid revenue growth. Also, strong e-commerce performance should aid results of General Mills, which is undertaking aggressive cost-saving activities to counter supply-chain hurdles. However, earnings estimates have moved down over the last 60 days, reflecting analysts' apprehensions over the stock’s earnings prospect.”

A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on GIS. Societe Generale lowered shares of General Mills from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $52.98 to $48.00 in a report on Monday, February 26th. Citigroup decreased their target price on shares of General Mills from $71.00 to $69.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, February 27th. Gabelli downgraded shares of General Mills from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. decreased their target price on shares of General Mills from $56.00 to $54.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group reissued a “hold” rating and set a $55.00 target price on shares of General Mills in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $52.71.

NYSE GIS traded up $0.12 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $46.13. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 412,721 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,052,346. The firm has a market cap of $25.73 billion, a PE ratio of 14.95, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.95 and a beta of 0.77. General Mills has a 52 week low of $41.01 and a 52 week high of $60.69. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.34, a current ratio of 0.69 and a quick ratio of 0.45.

In related news, CEO Jeffrey L. Harmening acquired 6,000 shares of General Mills stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, May 23rd. The stock was bought at an average price of $42.18 per share, with a total value of $253,080.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 114,696 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,837,877.28. The purchase was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Company insiders own 1.40% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of General Mills by 9.3% during the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 47,261,193 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,129,588,000 after buying an additional 4,033,152 shares during the period. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA grew its position in shares of General Mills by 5.9% during the 1st quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 23,083,806 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,040,156,000 after buying an additional 1,285,436 shares during the period. Geode Capital Management LLC grew its position in shares of General Mills by 2.4% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 6,261,796 shares of the company’s stock worth $370,514,000 after buying an additional 146,687 shares during the period. Schroder Investment Management Group grew its position in shares of General Mills by 36.4% during the 1st quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 4,915,769 shares of the company’s stock worth $221,504,000 after buying an additional 1,311,067 shares during the period. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. grew its position in shares of General Mills by 22.8% during the 1st quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 3,794,743 shares of the company’s stock worth $170,992,000 after buying an additional 705,650 shares during the period. 74.58% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

General Mills Company Profile

General Mills, Inc manufactures and markets branded consumer foods in the United States. The company operates in four segments: North America Retail; Convenience Stores & Foodservice; Europe & Australia; and Asia & Latin America. It offers ready-to-eat cereals, refrigerated yogurt, soup, meal kits, refrigerated and frozen dough products, dessert and baking mixes, frozen pizza and pizza snacks, shelf stable and frozen vegetables, and ice cream and frozen desserts, as well as grain, fruit and savory snacks; and various organic products, including nutrition bars, meal kits, salty snacks, and ready-to-eat cereal.

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