(By Balachander) General Mills (NYSE: GIS), a maker of branded consumer foods, announced plans to slash around 850 jobs worldwide in a move to focus on key growth strategies.
The Minneapolis, Minnesota-based company expects total restructuring charges of about $109 million pre-tax in connection with the cost savings plan.
The company markets brands including: Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Fiber One, Nature Valley, Cheerios among others.
The company has 35,000 employees, with roughly half of them work outside the United States, according to its website.
For fiscal 2012, the company backed its adjusted earnings per share guidance of $2.53 to $2.55 per share, while analysts' expect $2.54.
For the third quarter ended February 26, the company's adjusted earnings fell to 55 cents from 56 cents. Net earnings were nearly flat at $391 million. Net sales rose 13 percent to $4.12 billion.
For the fourth quarter, analysts' expect GIS to post earnings of $0.59 on revenue of $4.1 billion.
The company expects to record around $94 million of the restructuring costs in the fourth quarter ending May 27, and the remaining costs to be recorded in fiscal 2013.
General Mills generates roughly $15 billion in annual sales, almost 70 percent of which come from U.S. Retail products. It categorize sales into three core business segments: U.S. Retail, International, and Bakeries & Foodservice. General Mills' sales from wholly owned businesses outside the U.S. represented nearly 20 percent of sales in fiscal 2011.
The stock, which has been trading in the 52-week range between $34.64 and $41.06, is currently trading 4 cents lower at $38.51.