General Mills Hit by Severe Winter

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General Mills’ sales in the third quarter were hurt by rough weather this winter taking a big bite from the cereal maker that caused results to miss expectations on Wall Street.

The maker of Better Crocker products, Yoplait and of course Cheerios said on Wednesday that fiscal net income for the third quarter was up 3%, free from a charge that had hurts the company’s results the previous year.

For the quarter that ended on February 23, the company had earnings of $410.5 million or a per share amount of 64 cents. That figure was up from last year during the same quarter of $398.5 million or a per share rate of 60 cents.

The third quarter from last year included a charge of $6.1 million. Removing certain types of items, earnings ended at 62 cents a share. Analysts had expected earnings per share of 64 cents.

Revenue fell by 1% to end the quarter at $4.38 billion from last year’s $4.43 billion, hindered by the foul winter weather, volumes that were lower and an unfavorable translation of foreign currency.

Wall Street expected revenue to be over $4.41 billion. Retail sales in the U.S. declined by 2% as the cereal maker ran into higher costs for dairy and increased merchandising and marketing costs for its business of domestic yogurt.

The company’s yogurt business was challenged by a number of new competitors like Chobani, which sells Greek yogurt.

Sales for the foodservice and convenience stores unit fell by 7% because of the harsh winter weather that caused travel problems as well as the lower prices on different product lines.

Company sales improved in the regions of Asia Pacific and Europe, which helped offset a weakness in both Canada and Latin America.

General Mills maintained its current forecast for growth in the strong double digits in its adjusting earnings for the fourth quarter per share.

The company, based in Minneapolis, Minnesota reaffirmed its 2014 fiscal guidance for its adjusted earnings from $2.87 to $2.90 a share.

Analysts predict that earnings for the full year will be $2.87 a share.

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