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Wall Street Advances on Fed's Decision

- By Omar Venerio

U.S. stocks were in positive territory on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve indicated it will not raise interest rates in 2019. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.13% to 25,920, the S&P 500 index gained 0.32% to 2,842 and the Nasdaq Composite Index rose 0.63% to 7,772.

Shares of General Mills Inc. (GIS) gained about 3% on Wednesday after the company reported third-quarter results. Revenue grew 8.2% from the prior-year quarter to $4.2 billion, falling $10 million short of expectations. The company recorded earnings of 83 cents per share, beating estimates by 14 cents.

"We had a strong third quarter, with positive organic sales growth and significant operating margin expansion," said CEO Jeff Harmening.

By segment, net sales in Europe and Australia fell 8% to $433 million. In Asia and Latin America, net sales declined 2% to $428 million. In the Pet division, revenue reached $347 million.

During the quarter, the gross margin rose 200 basis points to 34.4% of net sales. The adjusted gross margin increased 170 basis points to 34.2% due to cost savings and benefits from net price realization and mix.

The operating profit reached $651 million, up 14% from last year despite a loss on the sale of La Saltena in Argentina. The adjusted operating profit was $730 million, an increase of 25%, and the operating profit margin of 15.5% increased 80 basis points. The adjusted operating profit margin inched up 230 basis points to 17.4%.

Looking ahead to the fourth quarter, the company expects Blue Buffalo's net sales and segment operating profit growth to accelerate meaningfully, driven by significant distribution expansion in the FDM channel.


  • Pioneer Natural Resources Co. (PXD)
  • Noble Energy Inc. (NBL)
  • Devon Energy Corp. (DVN)
  • EOG Resources Inc. (EOG)
  • Concho Resources Inc. (CXO)
  • Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (COG)


  • Viacom Inc. (VIAB)
  • FedEx Corp. (FDX)
  • Harley-Davidson Inc. (HOG)
  • General Motors Co. (GM)
  • Humana Inc. (HUM)

Global markets

The main European stock markets traded lower. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.45%, France's CAC 40 declined 0.80%, Germany's Dax tumbled 1.57% and Spain's IBEX 35 lost 0.91%.

In Asia, Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.20%, India's BSE Sensex advanced 0.06%, Hong Kong's Hang Seng slid 0.49% and China's Shanghai Composite dipped 0.01%.

Disclosure: The author holds no positions in any stocks mentioned.

This article first appeared on GuruFocus.