* General Mills Inc. said fiscal third-quarter earnings edged up 2.7% to $157.5 million, or 54 cents a share, matching analysts' forecasts, as higher interest expenses related to acquisitions and share repurchases partially offset higher revenue. The Minneapolis-based maker of Cheerios, Chex and Kix cereals said sales rose 5% to $1.7 billion, led by snack brands such as Pop Secret microwave popcorn and Yoplait yogurt. General Mills also said it did not expect to close its planned purchase of Diageo's Pillsbury unit until the end of its fiscal fourth quarter as it awaits Federal Trade Commission approval of the deal. Analysts had been hoping the acquisition would close sooner. Shares of General Mills closed off 84 cents at $43.30 on the NYSE.
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