Aug 14, 2022

Israel, General Mills, and Your Money

Israel, General Mills, and Your Money

A Guest Post by Dr Harold Goldmeier

This summary article is about business in Israel. Read the full article here: https://www.gurufocus.com/news/1832439/why-general-mills-is-a-fulfilling-investment. People ask me my opinion when I speak to community and business groups how they can best help Israel and participate in the growth of the startup nation? Always consult your broker, lawyer, and accountant before making investments. Visit GuruFocus.com for the original article.

Disclaimer: Please be advised that neither the author or Life in Israel, its affiliates, its employees or agents accept liability for any errors, omissions or damages caused by this communication or its attachments, or which may otherwise arise as a result of this communication transmission. Dr. Harold Goldmeier, Business Teacher and Consultant  

 

·         General Mills says ending a joint manufacturing venture in Israel was a business decision, not a boycott. A slew of products is in stores across the country.

·         General Mills could be a value opportunity despite trading near its 52-week high.

·         The nature of the business and the hallmark dividend could provide stability amid uncertainty.



Slow, steady, safe

Not every decision is political though it seems that way because of Israelis’ existential angst. 

A company representative emphatically claims, “We continue to sell our products in

Israel and look forward to continuing to serve Israeli consumers with our other brand.” Nor is it wise for investors to let politics sway investment decisions. A slew of GIS products is in stores across the country.

 

General Mills Inc. (GISFinancial) might seem a bit richly valued now that the stock trades near its 52-week high. Yet, in my opinion, General Mills has the potential rise another 10% higher. By the end of the new fiscal year, my price target for this stock is in the $82 to $85 range. This is because of the combination of the food industry's defensive nature and General Mills' solid dividend.

 

 

 

Food industry stocks are one of the best consumer defensive investments in a volatile market. The S&P Food and Beverage Select Industry Index was steady from the pandemic outbreak through this month.

General Mills in particular did well. General Mills' shares are up 22.5% over the last 12 months. They rose 35.5% in the past five years. The price-earnings ratio of 18.35 is lower than the average of 21 for its broader industry, although it is higher than the average of 15 in the food products group. Its Beta rating is 0.15. Short interest is a scant 2.22%.

Inflation and any remaining bumps in the supply chain might cause a 1% to 2% slip in profit in the new fiscal year’s first and second quarters. Anticipated sales increases of 4% to 5% should offset pressures on margins and profits.

Great company packaging

General Mills manufactures, markets and distributes name brands of baking products, cereals, dough and pastries, fruit, ice cream, prepared meals, organic and natural foods, pet foods and pizza. Its products sell in over 100 countries across six continents.

Cereals are the core business. Fruit bars, health bars and snacks are among its fastest-growing targeted segments. The company points out its heat and eat breakfast sandwiches as fast growers for their convenience and competition with fast-food restaurants.

Finances are stable

In May, the company reported that its diluted earnings per share for the quarter increased 98%, or 23% in constant currency, to $1.12. Net sales increased 5% for the year. Organic sales for the quarter were 13% higher. Operating profit for the full fiscal year was up 11%. Fiscal fourth quarter operating profit rose 85% to $1 billion. Operating cash flow grew 11%.

The pet foods segment of General Mills had 20% to 30% sales growth, compounded by the July 2021 purchase of pet treat brands. In the fourth quarter, net pet food sales grew 37% year-over-year to $610 million.

General Mills has historically used debt to finance growth and pay solid dividends. Its debt-to-equity ratio is 1.22. The company has been reducing debt, but with its enormous market cap, it is unlikely to have trouble borrowing money. The debt has been falling for five consecutive years.



Valuation

The GF Score for General Mills is 78 out of 100. Though highly profitable (8/10), the value rank is minimal (3/10). Momentum is moderate (6/10). Its growth rank just 6/10.

Corporate insiders sold almost one million shares as the price increased. Meanwhile, hedge funds increased their holdings in each of the last three quarters. They added 385.7 thousand shares in the fourth quarter alone. General Mills pays an attractive 2.78% forward dividend yield, which I believe adds greatly to the value proposition.

Commitment to shareholders

I like General Mills as an investment opportunity. The company’s products are sold almost everywhere in Israel. It also commits to business sustainability making its packaging eco-friendly and targeting zero waste and carbon footprint. GIS has upward potential, pays a good dividend, and is financially sound.

 

 



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