First split since 2001
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - General Mills, Inc. (NYSE: GIS) Board of Directors today declared a two-for-one split of General Mills common stock. The split will be effected in the form of a 100 percent stock dividend. Shareholders of record at the close of business on May 28, 2010, will receive one additional share of General Mills stock for each share then owned. These additional shares will be distributed beginning June 8, 2010.
Since General Mills was incorporated in 1928, the company's common stock has split seven previous times, most recently as a two-for-one split on November 8, 1999. From a split-adjusted closing price of $41.69 on that date, shares of GIS appreciated 71 percent to $71.16 as of market close on April 30, 2010. Over that same time period, the S&P 500 Index declined 14 percent from $1377.01 to $1186.69. "General Mills' categories and our leading brands have proven to be very resilient over time," said Powell. "During the past decade, our company underwent a major transformation with the acquisition of Pillsbury, faced a sustained period of high input cost inflation and a global economic recession. Despite these challenges, we have delivered strong business performance and generated solid returns for our shareholders."
From November 1999 through April 2010, total return to General Mills' shareholders through stock price appreciation and dividends compounded at an 8 percent annualized rate, compared to an annualized return of less than 1 percent for the S&P 500. General Mills' annual cash dividend has grown from $1.08 in fiscal 1999 to $1.92 in fiscal 2010. The company and its predecessor firms have paid dividends without interruption or reduction for the past 111 years.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that are based on our current expectations and assumptions. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from the potential results discussed in the forward-looking statements. In particular, our predictions about future net sales and earnings could be affected by a variety of factors, including: competitive dynamics in the consumer foods industry and the markets for our products, including new product introductions, advertising activities, pricing actions, and promotional activities of our competitors; economic conditions, including changes in inflation rates, interest rates, tax rates, or the availability of capital; product development and innovation; consumer acceptance of new products and product improvements; consumer reaction to pricing actions and changes in promotion levels; acquisitions or dispositions of businesses or assets; changes in capital structure; changes in laws and regulations, including labeling and advertising regulations; impairments in the carrying value of goodwill, other intangible assets, or other long-lived assets, or changes in the useful lives of other intangible assets; changes in accounting standards and the impact of significant accounting estimates; product quality and safety issues, including recalls and product liability; changes in consumer demand for our products; effectiveness of advertising, marketing, and promotional programs; changes in consumer behavior, trends, and preferences, including weight loss trends; consumer perception of health-related issues, including obesity; consolidation in the retail environment; changes in purchasing and inventory levels of significant customers; fluctuations in the cost and availability of supply chain resources, including raw materials, packaging, and energy; disruptions or inefficiencies in the supply chain; volatility in the market value of derivatives used to manage price risk for certain commodities; benefit plan expenses due to changes in plan asset values and discount rates used to determine plan liabilities; failure of our information technology systems; resolution of uncertain income tax matters; foreign economic conditions, including currency rate fluctuations; and political unrest in foreign markets and economic uncertainty due to terrorism or war. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly revise any forward-looking statement to reflect any future events or circumstances.
Analysts: Kris Wenker, 763-764-2607
Media: Kirstie Foster, 763-764-6364
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Statements in this press release regarding General Mills, Inc.'s business which are not historical facts are "forward-looking statements" that involve risks and uncertainties. For a discussion of such risks and uncertainties, which could cause actual results to differ from those contained in the forward-looking statements, see "Risk Factors" in the Company's Annual Report or Form 10-K for the most recently ended fiscal year.