Investment Analysis and Recommendation Paper-General Mills, Inc
You will prepare the final section of your Investment Analysis and Recommendation Paper, consisting of the capital structure choices, as well as an executive summary of your research.
General Mills has a distinguished portfolio of leading food brands. Many are long-standing favorites, as appealing to consumers today as when they introduced decades ago. The operating environment for our business is ever-changing, but our brands are resilient and generate continuing growth (http://thomson.mobular.net/thomson/7/3006/4051/document_0/GIS_AR09.pdf).
General Mills is one of the largest packaged food producers in the world, with over $14 billion in sales in 2008. The firm owns some of the most recognizable brands in the grocery store, including Cheerios, Progresso Soup, Hamburger Helper and Fruit Roll-Ups. U.S. retail accounts for 68% of sales, but its international segment, helped by a joint venture with French food giant Nestle SA, is growing fast as the company now operates in 100 countries worldwide (http://www.wikinvest.com/stock/General_Mills_(GIS).
Like many other food and beverage companies, General Mills faces a market marked by increasing commodities prices. The company is a large purchaser of corn and wheat and the rise in the price of oil has hurt as well. As the costs of doing business increase, General Mills must either absorb these losses or charge higher prices at the risk of losing market share. Nonetheless, General Mills has managed to maintain its gross margin constant in the face of the 2008 Financial Crisis; it fell only slightly from 35.7 percent in 2008 to 35.6 percent in 2009. In doing so, the company has introduced new products like lower-sodium Progresso soups and Hamburger Helper singles for the microwave, while growing its reach from grocery stores into new channels like supercenters, drug and discount stores and convenience stores. It is also expanding into fast growing markets like China, Russia and Latin America.
General Mills, Inc.
The board of directors of General Mills, Inc. is soliciting proxies for use at the Annual Meeting of Stockholders. This proxy statement summarizes the information you need to know to vote at the Annual Meeting. You do not need to attend the Annual Meeting to vote your shares. We first mailed or made available the proxy materials.
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