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General Mills and Monsanto Report; Apollo Soars, Then Falls; Synaptic Spikes

Hot Stock Minute

First up this morning is cereal giant General Mills (GIS) which just reported earnings. The company matched estimates posting 53-cents a share. That was with a beat on revenue, which reached $4.4 billion. The company says its gross margins have been down, due in part to exchange rates. However, it's been benefiting from several new products like Honey Nut Cheerios Medley Crunch, Yoplait Greek 100 calorie yogurt and Nature Valley Protein Bars. Shares of General Mills are up nearly 17% year-to-date, mostly on a rally in the first quarter.

Due to report at 9:30 this morning is seed-maker Monsanto (MON). The company is expected to post $1.60 a share down 3-cents from last year, but on higher revenue of about $4.4 billion. Analysts will be listening for any comment on unapproved genetically modified wheat which was found in Oregon. You may recall it led to foreign bans on the import of U.S. wheat. Prior to this morning, shares of Monsanto have been up 5% in 2013. But they had quite a rally late last fall and are up 30% over the past year. By the way, one quick note: another big company reporting today is Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) which releases numbers after the closing bell.

Right now we have a look at Apollo Group (APOL) which reported after yesterday's closing bell and is now down 5% in early trading. At one point, it had moved 6% higher. Here may be the reason for the swing: The company easily beat on earnings posting $1.05 a share, but it missed on revenue and has also lowered its outlook. Prior to the movement we're seeing this morning, shares are down a fit-inducing 46% this year.

Finally, we've got Synaptics (SYNA) which has been trading as much as 15% higher in extended hours. Synaptics makes the chips for touchscreens used by Samsung, Blackberry (BBRY) and HTC. It has upped its outlook citing stronger-than-expected sales of smartphones. Prior to this morning, shares have been up 26% over the last year. They hit an all-time high near the end of April.

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