I’ve read a few articles saying General Mills is laying off 625 more people...Is this true? If so where are the 625 coming from?
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General Mills bests Wall Street outlook, but boosts job cuts
General Mills Inc. turned in a better-than-expected fourth quarter earnings report as sales rose slightly and cost-cutting moves boosted margins. But the company kept up its focus on costs, saying it eliminated 625 positions.
Reuters has an early report on the numbers from the Golden Valley-based company, which has been under pressure to get bigger and improve profits in a consolidation-minded food sector.
General Mills (NYSE: GIS) had locked down the "get bigger" part earlier this year with its $8 billion acquisition of Blue Buffalo Pet Products. But the fourth-quarter results showed that things were improving even besides that deal.
Fourth-quarter sales rose 2 percent to $3.9 billion; organic net sales were up about 1 percent. And though profits were down from a year ago — to 59 cents per share from 69 cents — adjusted earnings of 79 cents per share were up and well above the 72 cents per share that analysts had expected.
"While our full-year profit results fell short of our initial plans, we finished the year delivering growth in sales, margins, profit, and EPS in the fourth quarter," said CEO Jeff Harmening. "And I'm pleased with the continued progress we've made in cash generation, with our free cash flow up nearly 30 percent this year.
A General Mills spokesperson said that the majority of the 625 job cuts have already happened, though it's not known what areas of the company were affected or how many of the cuts were from layoffs as opposed to attrition.
The fourth-quarter numbers include a existing $49.3 million charge in connection with the move. About $5.5 million in additional charges are expected in the coming year.
General Mills had a total workforce of about 38,000 last year. The company made much bigger rounds of cuts a few years ago, as plant closures and other restructuring moves eliminated thousands of jobs.
Other charges included a nearly $97 million impairment related to brands like Yoki and Mountain High.
Shares of General Mills are up about 1 percent in premarket trading.
False alarm! Looks like most of this already happened.