General Mills Target of Unusually Large Options Trading (GIS)

General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) was the target of some unusual options trading activity on Monday. Investors acquired 44,570 call options on the stock. This is an increase of approximately 2,027% compared to the average volume of 2,095 call options.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) opened at $57.85 on Friday. General Mills has a 1 year low of $49.65 and a 1 year high of $63.73. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.79, a quick ratio of 0.53 and a current ratio of 0.81. The company has a market cap of $32,920.00, a P/E ratio of 21.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.64 and a beta of 0.66.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) last posted its earnings results on Wednesday, December 20th. The company reported $0.82 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.82. General Mills had a net margin of 10.29% and a return on equity of 38.89%. The firm had revenue of $4.20 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.08 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $0.85 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 2.1% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts forecast that General Mills will post 3.12 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, February 1st. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, January 10th will be given a dividend of $0.49 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, January 9th. This represents a $1.96 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 3.39%. General Mills’s dividend payout ratio is currently 71.79%.

In related news, insider Bethany C. Quam sold 8,712 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, January 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $59.40, for a total value of $517,492.80. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 36,089 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,143,686.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. 1.40% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of GIS. American International Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of General Mills by 1,708.4% during the 3rd quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 9,027,740 shares of the company’s stock worth $467,276,000 after buying an additional 8,528,534 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its position in shares of General Mills by 3,178.6% during the 2nd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 2,611,312 shares of the company’s stock worth $144,666,000 after buying an additional 2,531,664 shares in the last quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA raised its holdings in shares of General Mills by 94.6% in the 2nd quarter. Federated Investors Inc. PA now owns 4,516,168 shares of the company’s stock worth $250,196,000 after purchasing an additional 2,195,397 shares during the period. Stifel Financial Corp raised its holdings in shares of General Mills by 28,570.2% in the 3rd quarter. Stifel Financial Corp now owns 1,671,471 shares of the company’s stock worth $86,610,000 after purchasing an additional 1,665,641 shares during the period. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. raised its holdings in shares of General Mills by 15.9% in the 3rd quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 11,295,701 shares of the company’s stock worth $584,665,000 after purchasing an additional 1,550,074 shares during the period. 72.59% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

GIS has been the topic of several recent research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of General Mills from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $62.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Friday, September 15th. Susquehanna Bancshares reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $58.00 price target on shares of General Mills in a research report on Tuesday, September 19th. Royal Bank of Canada dropped their price target on shares of General Mills from $62.00 to $58.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Bank of America dropped their price target on shares of General Mills from $61.00 to $55.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed an “equal weight” rating and issued a $52.00 price target (down previously from $55.00) on shares of General Mills in a research report on Thursday, September 21st. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, sixteen have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $58.17.

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General Mills Company Profile

General Mills, Inc is a manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods sold through retail stores. The Company is a supplier of branded and unbranded food products to the North American foodservice and commercial baking industries. The Company has three segments: U.S. Retail, International, and Convenience Stores and Foodservice.

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