Wednesday, March 20, 2019
The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC, or “The Fed”) are finishing up their latest two-day meeting today. These are the events whereby interest rates are raised, lowered or kept at current levels. Right now, and since the last Fed raise in December of last year, rates are at 2.25%-2.50%. This is not expected — by anyone — to change today.
What is more likely to happen upon the Fed’s announcement at 2pm ET today is that the overall number of rate hikes expected throughout 2019 will come down, indicating a more dovish policy for the FOMC continuing. Fed Chair Jerome Powell is scheduled to give a press conference today at 2:30pm ET, and hopefully he will further articulate the Fed’s way forward.
Minneapolis, MN-based General Mills GIS outperformed fiscal Q3 expectations this morning, putting up diluted earnings of 74 cents per share which beat the Zacks consensus by 5 cents. Revenues in the quarter tallied $4.2 billion, above the $4.18 billion analysts were expecting.
This marks the sixth straight earnings beat for the Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)-rated Consumer Goods major. Brands like Cheerios, Yoplait, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury and Nature Valley make up the company’s portfolio, which management said is expected to meet or exceed full-year estimates. Currently, the Zacks consensus reads are for $3.08 per share on $16.98 billion for fiscal 2019 (ending May).
North America sales grew 12% in the quarter. This was slightly offset by the -11% performance in the Europe & Australia segment; however, this adjusts to -1% on constant currency. Shares are up 3% in today’s pre-market, pushing the stock to fresh year-to-date highs.
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