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Will General Mills’ Global Growth Priorities Drive Top Line?


General Mills, Inc. GIS, which remains focused on the Consumer First strategy, provided details on its global growth priorities at its annual Investor Day. Talking of Consumer First strategy, management believes that meeting consumers’ evolving needs is one of the vital strategies for its business. This also helped the company to return to top-line growth in fiscal 2018.

That said, let’s delve deeper into the company’s global growth priorities, which should most likely help it sustain top-line growth and uplift investors’ confidence in this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock.

Well, the company has lost more than 22% so far this year, wider than the industry’s decline of 4.8%. This can be accountable to input cost inflation that remains a threat to General Mills’ margins. Nevertheless, focus on global growth strategies should help the company sustain top-line growth and provide cushion from these hurdles.

Global Growth Priorities in Detail

Management’s key priorities include competing efficiently, driving differential growth platforms and restructuring its portfolio.

With regard to competing efficiently everywhere, the company aims to bring a balance between top and bottom-line growth. While management remains committed toward driving sales, improving margins also remains a major priority. To this end, General Mills remains on track with its Holistic Margin Management (HMM) plan, which is expected to generate greater savings this year. This along with the company’s Strategic Revenue Management is likely to generate price/mix gains for all company segments.

Further, General Mills concentrates on innovation and adding products like YQ yogurt, Betty Crocker mug treats and Haagen-Dazs stick bars, among others, to its portfolio. The company remains focused on making further brand investments through media advertisements, sponsorships, packaging and enhanced points of sale. Solid focus on these efforts in fiscal 2019 is also likely to continue driving e-commerce sales that surged 50% in fiscal 2018.

Finally, the company aims to reshape its portfolio through strategic acquisitions and divestitures. In this regard, General Mills acquired Blue Buffalo Pet Products in April 2018, and management remains focused on expanding this business under General Mills’ umbrella. Also, offloading underperforming businesses remains an important part of the company’s portfolio reshaping endeavors.

All said, we expect General Mills’ focus on its global growth priorities to fuel top and bottom lines, aiding the stock’s recovery. Nevertheless, investors can also count on better-ranked stocks in the same industry.

Check Out These Solid Food Stocks

MEDIFAST INC MED, a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) stock, has delivered positive earnings surprises in the past three quarters. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

The Chefs' Warehouse, Inc. CHEF, with long-term earnings per share growth rate of 22%, flaunts a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

B&G Foods BGS, with a Zacks Rank #2, delivered positive earnings surprise in the last reported quarter and has gained 31.5% in the past three months.

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