News Brief

General Mills's Earnings Down, But Beat Expectations

General Mills reported fiscal Q1 profits of $405.6 million (61 cents a share), down 14% from same period 2010, as a result of higher input costs and increased marketing expenditures.

However, earnings were 64 cents per share excluding special items, which beat analysts' 62-cents-per-share expectation, reports The New York Times.

Sales rose 8.9%, to $3.85 billion, with snacks showing among the largest gains (17%) among U.S. segments (17%). But sales in the meals unit, including canned soups and dinner mixes, declined 4%. The U.S. accounts for nearly two-thirds of the company's sales.

Earlier this week, ConAgra Foods reported a 42% drop in earnings, as sales growth failed to make up for a 15% jump in input costs.--Karlene Lukovitz

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