The board of directors of
General Mills Inc.
) recently announced a 15% increase in the consumer food
company's dividend, its 14
hike in the quarterly dividend rate since 2004.
The quarterly dividend was increased from 33 cents to 38 cents
per common share, equivalent to an annual dividend of $1.52 per
share for fiscal 2014, up from $1.32 per share for fiscal 2013.
The new dividend will yield 3.3% annually.
The increased quarterly dividend will, however, be payable
from Aug 2013. General Mills' board also declared that they will
pay a quarterly dividend of 33 cents for the last quarter of
fiscal 2013 on May 1 to shareholders of record as on Apr 10.
General Mills has consistently enhanced shareholders' return
via share repurchases and dividends. In fact over the past four
years, General Mills delivered a compound annual return of 12% to
shareholders. Shareholder dividends have augmented at a
compounded growth rate of 11% over the past five fiscal
General Mills increased its annual dividend payments for
fiscal 2011 by 17% and for fiscal 2012 by 8% from the prior year,
respectively. Moreover, the company has maintained its consistent
record of repurchasing shares, which totaled $1.2 billion in
fiscal 2011 and $313 million in fiscal 2012. Share re-purchasing
activity is expected to be higher in fiscal 2013 than in
General Mills carries a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). We are
encouraged by the company's strong market share position in some
leading food categories, its strengthening international
presence, strategic acquisitions and focus on innovation and
brand support. These growth initiatives combined with the cost
saving efforts bode well for the company's long-term growth.
However, we prefer to remain on the sidelines until the U.S.
retail volumes improve substantially, the Yoplait yogurt business
delivers and the macroeconomic environment recovers.
Other Stocks to Consider
Some stocks going strong in the food industry are
Flower Foods Inc
J&J Snack Foods Corp
), both carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and
ConAgra Foods, Inc
) carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
CONAGRA FOODS (CAG): Free Stock Analysis
FLOWERS FOODS (FLO): Free Stock Analysis
GENL MILLS (GIS): Free Stock Analysis Report
J&J SNACK FOODS (JJSF): Free Stock Analysis
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