Chex Sales Boost General Mills’ 4th Quarter
General Mills Inc. said its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings rose 35%, boosted by rising sales of Chex cereals and snack mixes. The second-largest U.S. cereal company said net income rose to $91.8 million, or 57 cents a diluted share, from $68.2 million, or 51 cents, a year earlier. It was expected to earn 56 cents a share in the quarter ended May 31, the average estimate of analysts surveyed by First Call Corp. Revenue rose 7.6% to $1.55 billion from $1.44 billion. Increased sales of Chex cereals helped boost overall sales of cereal 9%. The maker of Cheerios receives about 35% of its revenue from U.S. cereal sales. Yet analysts said the company’s year-earlier results were easy to beat, and General Mills’ Big G cereal unit remains bogged down by competitors selling discounted supermarket brands or cereals sold in plastic bags. The Minneapolis-based company’s shares slipped 19 cents to close at $68.25 on the NYSE.