Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of General Mills (NYSE:GIS) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “General Mills has lagged the industry in the past six months, as the company is battling input cost inflation, which is likely to linger going forward. Evidently, the company expects input cost inflation of 5% in fiscal 2019, a point greater than the fiscal 2018 level. Also, General Mills is struggling with its U.S. Yogurt sales for the past few quarters. Nonetheless, the company is on track to restructure this category through fundamental innovation. Also, the company remains committed toward reshaping its portfolio, evident from its buyout of Blue Buffalo. These factors along with strong e-commerce business and savings from HMM initiatives should continue to fuel General Mills. Markedly, the company posted robust fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 results, wherein both top and bottom lines grew year over year. Also, organic sales grew on organic net price realization and mix. In fiscal 2019, management expects net sales to rise 9-10%.”

A number of other analysts have also issued reports on GIS. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $50.00 price target on shares of General Mills and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Monday, May 21st. Jefferies Financial Group reissued a buy rating and issued a $55.00 price target on shares of General Mills in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. Citigroup reduced their price target on shares of General Mills from $61.00 to $54.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Friday, June 29th. Bank of America reissued a hold rating and issued a $49.00 price target on shares of General Mills in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $45.00 price target on shares of General Mills and gave the stock a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, July 12th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $50.71.

Shares of GIS opened at $45.38 on Tuesday. General Mills has a one year low of $41.01 and a one year high of $60.69. The stock has a market capitalization of $27.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.78, a PEG ratio of 1.77 and a beta of 0.77. The company has a quick ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 0.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.95.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, June 27th. The company reported $0.79 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.72 by $0.07. General Mills had a net margin of 13.54% and a return on equity of 35.14%. The company had revenue of $3.89 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.89 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.73 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.2% on a year-over-year basis. analysts anticipate that General Mills will post 3.05 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, August 1st. Investors of record on Tuesday, July 10th were given a dividend of $0.49 per share. This represents a $1.96 annualized dividend and a yield of 4.32%. The ex-dividend date was Monday, July 9th. General Mills’s payout ratio is presently 63.02%.

In related news, Director Heidi Miller sold 13,204 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $45.77, for a total transaction of $604,347.08. Following the transaction, the director now owns 82,295 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,766,642.15. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Maria Sastre acquired 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 20th. The shares were acquired at an average cost of $47.37 per share, for a total transaction of $47,370.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 1,000 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $47,370. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 158,018 shares of company stock worth $7,114,487. Insiders own 0.59% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Lee Financial Co raised its position in shares of General Mills by 178.2% in the first quarter. Lee Financial Co now owns 2,504 shares of the company’s stock valued at $113,000 after purchasing an additional 1,604 shares during the period. Institutional & Family Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of General Mills in the first quarter valued at approximately $115,000. Acadian Asset Management LLC bought a new position in shares of General Mills in the second quarter valued at approximately $115,000. Adviser Investments LLC raised its position in shares of General Mills by 158.7% in the second quarter. Adviser Investments LLC now owns 2,608 shares of the company’s stock valued at $115,000 after purchasing an additional 1,600 shares during the period. Finally, CSat Investment Advisory L.P. bought a new position in shares of General Mills in the second quarter valued at approximately $118,000. 70.57% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About General Mills

General Mills, Inc manufactures and markets branded consumer foods worldwide. The company operates in five segments: North America Retail; Convenience Stores & Foodservice; Europe & Australia; Asia & Latin America; and Pet. 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, grain, fruit, and savory snacks, as well as organic products, including refrigerated yogurt, nutrition bars, meal kits, salty snacks, ready-to-eat cereal, and grain snacks.

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