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General Mills (NYSE:GIS) was downgraded by research analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a report released on Tuesday, AnalystRatings.NET reports. They currently have a $48.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley’s price objective indicates a potential downside of 1.64% from the stock’s previous close.

The analysts wrote, “While Food investors have proven receptive to significant change, we see Mills’ approach as more measured,” the report noted. “Its US EBIT/facility is already best-in-class, and core SG&A is leaner than diversified Food peers. Mills could surprise with robust cost reductions, buybacks, or acquisitions (2x leverage), but we generally expect the company to continue to pursue (and struggle to achieve) high-quality high single-digit EPS growth.” Some highlights from the report included:-”We forecast 2014e EPS of $2.85, or ~1% below the $2.88 consensus.”-”We see US sales trends range-bound at 1-2%, with below-average categories (even including yogurt) and mixed share trends (yogurt, meals).”-”We base our 12-month PT of $48 on ~15x C2015e EPS.”

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) traded down 0.02% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $48.80. 4,311,769 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. General Mills has a 52-week low of $40.74 and a 52-week high of $53.07. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $49.84 and a 200-day moving average of $49.93. The company has a market cap of $30.477 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.17.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, December 18th. The company reported $0.83 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters consensus estimate of $0.88 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $4.88 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $4.95 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $0.86 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was down .1% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts predict that General Mills will post $2.88 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Monday, February 3rd. Shareholders of record on Friday, January 10th will be paid a dividend of 0.38 per share. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.11%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, January 8th.

A number of other firms have also recently commented on GIS. Analysts at Zacks reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of General Mills in a research note to investors on Friday, December 20th. They now have a $52.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at BMO Capital Markets cut their EPS estimates on shares of General Mills in a research note on Thursday. They now have an “outperform” rating and a $53.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at S&P Equity Research downgraded shares of General Mills to a “hold” rating in a research note to investors on Wednesday, December 18th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and seven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. General Mills has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $51.14.

General Mills, Inc (NYSE:GIS) is a manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores.

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