GIS currently has a P/E of 17.5...its competitors K, SJM, etc.... have a P/E of 19.5 Take GIS current 12 months EPS of $2.76 and apply the P/E its competitors have and you get $54...Thats my price target!
The problem with selling GIS is that it's such a steady grower of revenues, earnings and dividends that it occasionally becomes the darling of the market and suddenly it's worth more than any sales target you set.
I like GIS and pretty much agree with your price target, but I think it is a "sell in May and go away" at this time. A cliché, yes, but I think they are ahead of themselves and more likely to see 45 before heading to 54.
The more important issue I think is this: should the dividend be steady for a year while they chop down some of that debt? One thing is for sure, it could go to $54 and maintain 3.1-3.4%, they just wouldn't be able to get the debt down. Personally, I'm fine with keeping the dividend at $1.52/sh and working off the debt. The price will reflect that accomplishment and probably be worth more than the dividend.