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General Mills reported a slight increase in Q4 net income to $224 million, or $0.62 (vs. $222m, $0.61 last Q4), coming up a penny shy of the Street's consensus estimate. Full fiscal 2008 EPS guidance of $3.39 - $3.43 (+7 to 8% y/y) also came up short of analysts' average estimate of $3.44. General-Mills-GIS-chart-06-27-07 Q4 Revenues rose 7% to $3.06b, beating analysts' average forecast of $2.99b. In its earnings press release, General Mills said higher input and marketing costs are expected to continue in fiscal 2008. The company projected fiscal '08 sales growth in the low single-digits and for segment operating profits to increase in the mid single-digits. General Mills' average diluted shares outstanding declined to 360 million in FY'07, from 379m in the prior fiscal year. Shares of General Mills were last down 1.2% to $58.73 on thin pre-market trading, after rising 0.3% to $59.45 Wednesday.

Sources: Press release, Bloomberg, MarketWatch
Commentary: 32 Big Dividend Payers: Buy Now, Profit LaterDean Foods: Milk This Oversell - Barron's
Stocks/ETFs to watch: General Mills Inc. (GIS). Competitors: Group Danone (DA), Kellogg Co. (K), Kraft Foods Inc. (KFT). ETFs: PowerShares Dynamic Food & Beverage (PBJ), PowerShares Dynamic Market (PWC), iShares Dow Jones US Consumer Goods Sector Index Fund (IYK)

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Source: General Mills Q4 EPS Misses By a Penny, Sales Top Estimates