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General Mills cuts fiscal 2012 adj. profit outlook

February 17, 2012
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MINNEAPOLIS—General Mills Inc. is lowering is fiscal 2012 adjusted earnings forecast, saying it experienced softer volumes in the U.S. during December and January.

Its shares fell $1.43, or 3.6 percent, to $38.35 in premarket trading on Friday.

General Mills remains one of the most popular food brands in grocery stores. But like most of its peers, it has struggled with higher costs for everything from ingredients to labor and has raised its prices to help alleviate some of the pressure.

The Minneapolis company, which makes foods such as Cheerios cereal, Nature Valley granola bars and Hamburger Helper, said it now expects full-year adjusted earnings of $2.53 to $2.55 per share. Its prior guidance was for earnings between $2.59 and $2.61 per share.

Analysts polled by FactSet forecast earnings of $2.60 per share for the year.

For its fiscal third quarter, General Mills expects earnings of 54 cents to 56 cents per share. In the same period last year it made 56 cents per share.

General Mills plans to report earnings on March 21.

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