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The $20 Special is *General Mills Inc. (GIS).... (You must log-in as a subscriber to get this price. The non-subscirber reduced-price is $40.)

Comparison GIS (stock of the month) vs SP500 (by Vanguard SP500 Index Fund) in the last 10 years.

 

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Here is a capsule review of our featured stock, provided by Mario Medina.

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Company Information:

Founded in 1856 and headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, General Mills is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of branded consumer foods, such as ready-to-eat breakfast cereals, refrigerated dough and other baking items, snack foods, ice cream, and yogurt. Its portfolio of well-known brands includes Cheerios, Betty Crocker, Pillsbury, Haagen-Dazs, and Yoplait. Sales outside the U.S. account for just less than one fourth of total sales. Its current total market capitalization of $30.5 billion makes GIS a large capitalization stock (a large-cap stock has a market capitalization value of more than $10 billion), and its long history of consistent revenues and earnings growth makes it a solid company. It is considered a diversified business with durable competitive advantage over rivals. The company also enjoys a solid management and corporate culture. According to Yahoo! Finance, consensus estimates call for the company to earn about $3.11 per share this year, up from $2.82 per share last year, and to go to about $3.24 per share next year. General Mills has paid dividends to investors since 1898, and has increased its payments for 13 consecutive years. During the past five years it has increased its dividends at an average rate of 9.5%, with its quarterly payment of $0.49 currently providing a yield of 3.59%.

The value of dividends reinvestment: A hypothetical investment in General Mills Inc. has grown cumulatively (including dividends reinvested) 9,222.89% during the past forty years. However, if you remove dividend reinvestment from the equation, the same hypothetical investment would have grown only 2,802.88% during the same period of time. The stock exhibits a Dividend Payout Ratio (DPR is the proportion of earnings paid out as dividends to shareholders) of 69%, which means the company is paying out 69% of all its net income in dividends, and is retaining a percentage of earnings to reinvest or grow the business. Its average DPR during the past five years is 67%. Its Price to Earnings ratio (a measure of valuation) of 19.4 is 26.2% below its industry average, and according to Morningstar, the stock is currently trading 8.1% below its Fair Value Estimate.

Technically (from the chart’s perspective) GIS also looks attractive, trading 27.0% below its all-time high, 9.2% below its 200-day moving average line (200sma) and 3.7% below its 50-day moving average line (50sma), while it is forming a long base (price consolidation pattern) between $73 and $53 approximately, in which $53 is acting as a technical support level. The actively managed no-load mutual funds American Century Equity Income Inv. (TWEIX) and Mairs & Power Growth Inv. (MPGFX) are major shareholders of GIS, holding 0.92% and 0.35% of its shares respectively. The stock is also one of the 63 holdings of the mutual fund managed my Moneypaper Advisors, the MP 63 Fund (DRIPX). GIS’s main competitors in the world are Nestle SA ADR (NSRGY) and The Kraft Heinz Co. (KHC). Volatility and risks: GIS’s Beta (a measure of the volatility, or systematic risk in comparison to the market as a whole) is 0.52 compared to the S&P 500® Index, so the stock is 48% less volatile than the Market. Best and worst years during the past 10 years: Its best year was 2013, in which GIS returned, including dividends, +27.0%. Its worst year was 2007, when the stock returned 1.6% including dividends. GIS’s dividend reinvestment plan charges no fees for cash investing, dividend reinvestment, automatic investment or termination of the plan. With the stock being fundamental and technically attractive, this company is an appropriate holding for investors who have a long-term investment horizon.

Disclosure: Mario Medina has no position in General Mills Inc., and has no plans to initiate any position in the immediate future. The author wrote the article himself and it expresses his own opinions. Mario has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article. The securities mentioned in this article do not represent a recommendation to invest, and the information published does not take into account any subscriber's personal finances, goals or risk tolerance. Accordingly, you should be aware of all the risks associated with any financial investment, and should consult an independent financial advisor for any personal investment advice.

 

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Mario Medina Personal and Professional background:

Born in Cuba and graduated in Architecture from the University of Havana, Mario Medina is editor and writer of the weekly online investment newsletter El Boletín, and senior analyst for Julie Stav, Inc. Through seminars and conferences live and online, DVDs, investment e-books, articles in his blog and financial columns (on www.invierteconmario.com, www.comunidadtudinero.com and www.directinvesting.com), videos and Podcasts, Mario teaches people inside and outside the United States. The point that differentiates Mario in his teachings, is the simplicity and softness of the language, teaching beginners, the same way he wanted to be educated when starting in the world of personal finances and investments.

Mario provides investment guidance in financial segments of Hispanic television and radio, and has had his own radio shows on those topics at Univision Radio Network, also participating in Tu Dinero, Julie Stav’s financial shows and Podcast series (www.revolverpodcasts.com and www.juliestav.com)

Analyzing the status of the market and its indexes, examining leading companies, sectors and industries, and evaluating the performance of Julie Stav’s Platinum List of Companies, his popular online Daily Market Report allows thousands of people from across the country to follow the situation of the financial world and get the essential information they need to make the best decisions about their own investments.

Today, Mario provides independent fundamental and technical analysis for the mutual fund MoneyPaper 63 (DRIPX), which is the only fund that focuses solely in companies that offer small investors Dividend Re-investment Plans. He is also a regular contributor to directinvesting.com.

Today, those who read the articles written by Mario Medina, or those who daily follow his Market Report, listen to his segments, watch his videos, or attend his seminars, could not imagine that a little over a decade ago its author knew nothing about investments or the stock market. It has been a long, arduous road for the young man newly arrived to the US with empty pockets, a suitcase full of dreams, and whose first savings came from collecting empty soda cans and recycling scrap yard. After discovering the world of finance through books and radio programs, and after years of study and sacrifice, Mario Medina now advises thousands of Hispanics on how and when to buy or sell in the stock market in order to obtain the best returns and minimize their losses.

What was the secret that allowed Mario to develop those early, small investments? "I think the key is to save and invest on a regular basis, with clearly defined long-term, diversified goals," he says. "To do so, each person must determine his o her risk tolerance level ... I do not feel comfortable risking as much as other people, and in turn many risk more than me. It is essential to know how far one can get without trying to beat the stock market every day.”

Through his regular segments, articles and analysis, Mario wants to offer everyone his successful strategies so that anyone can make the most of their work, their savings and their investments, and realize their dreams of economic prosperity. Mario Medina’s own dream is to help those interested in managing their money by knowing the risks and investing directly in the very best, teaching them the necessary steps to succeed in the stock market and other investments, participating in it directly and without brokers, so they can manage their money more efficiently and get better returns without paying more fees.

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