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 Thursday.

According to Zacks, “General Mills, which has outpaced the industry in the past three months is on track to restructure its U.S. Yogurt category through fundamental innovation. Well, the company has been struggling with its U.S. Yogurt sales for the past few quarters. Also, General Mills 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 the company that posted robust fourth-quarter fiscal 2018 results. Both top and bottom lines rose year over year and organic sales gained from net price realization and mix. In fiscal 2019, management expects net sales to rise 9-10%. However, 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.”

GIS has been the subject of a number of other reports. Goldman Sachs Group raised shares of General Mills from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $47.00 target price for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 16th. Bank of America reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $49.00 target price on shares of General Mills in a report on Wednesday, June 27th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $50.00 target price on shares of General Mills and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, May 21st. Citigroup cut their target price on shares of General Mills from $61.00 to $54.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Friday, June 29th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $45.00 price objective on shares of General Mills and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, July 12th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $50.71.

GIS stock opened at $47.55 on Thursday. General Mills has a fifty-two week low of $41.01 and a fifty-two week high of $60.69. The company has a quick ratio of 0.34, a current ratio of 0.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.95. The firm has a market capitalization of $28.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.29, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.81 and a beta of 0.74.

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

In other news, insider Jacqueline Williams-Roll sold 2,450 shares of General Mills stock in a transaction on Wednesday, July 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.23, for a total transaction of $105,913.50. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 39,074 shares in the company, valued at $1,689,169.02. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Jonathon Nudi sold 5,066 shares of General Mills stock in a transaction on Monday, July 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.44, for a total value of $225,133.04. Following the sale, the insider now owns 50,653 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,251,019.32. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 158,018 shares of company stock valued at $7,114,487 over the last ninety days. 1.40% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in GIS. Lee Financial Co lifted its position in shares of General Mills by 178.2% during the first quarter. Lee Financial Co now owns 2,504 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after purchasing an additional 1,604 shares during the last quarter. Institutional & Family Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of General Mills during the first quarter worth $115,000. Acadian Asset Management LLC bought a new stake in shares of General Mills during the second quarter worth $115,000. Adviser Investments LLC lifted its position in shares of General Mills by 158.7% during the second quarter. Adviser Investments LLC now owns 2,608 shares of the company’s stock worth $115,000 after purchasing an additional 1,600 shares during the last quarter. Finally, CSat Investment Advisory L.P. bought a new stake in shares of General Mills during the second quarter worth $118,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 70.57% of the company’s stock.

General Mills Company Profile

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.

Featured Story: Risk Tolerance and Your Investment Decisions

Get a free copy of the Zacks research report on General Mills (GIS)

For more information about research offerings from Zacks Investment Research, visit Zacks.com

Analyst Recommendations for General Mills (NYSE:GIS)

Receive News & Ratings for General Mills Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for General Mills and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.