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Executive Decision: General Mills CEO Kendall Powell

General Mills is hoping its advertising deal with NBC’s The Biggest Loser will be a big winner, CEO Kendall Powell told Cramer Tuesday. The company’s taking advantage of both the show and the January trend in New Year’s resolutions to launch its “Pound for Pound Challenge,” a promotion to raise money for Feeding America and to get customers thinking about General Mills’ products.

Participants in the challenge, which will be promoted on Tuesday’s season premiere of The Biggest Loser, pledge to lose weight, and for every pound lost General Mills donates 10 cents to Feeding America, the largest U.S. food bank. Powell said the initiative could help Feeding America deliver as much as 5 million pounds of food.

Elsewhere in the business, General Mills just reported a strong second quarter, with sales growth and brand-building spending up and margins increased “even in this tough commodity environment,” Powell said. The company was so confident that it raised guidance.

“We feel pretty good about where we’re at,” the CEO said.

There’s been some concern on the Street, Cramer pointed out, that a strong dollar could hurt General Mills. But with so much of the business taking place here in North America, and not overseas, GIS is “less affected,” Powell said, “by those currency movements.”

Cramer likes the 2.85% yield as well, but Powell wasn’t willing to predict whether or not he’d be increasing the dividend anytime soon. Investors who buy General Mills aren’t looking for the explosive growth of a tech stock, he said, they want consistency. And that’s just what they get from a company that hasn’t missed a quarterly payment in 110 years.




Jim's charitable trust owns General Mills.

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