General Mills Inc. (GIS) forecast a fiscal third-quarter profit below expectations, warning that weak volume in the U.S. will hamper its profitability for the period.
Food makers across the industry have seen volume come under pressure as budget-conscious consumers push back against price increases enacted to help offset rising commodity costs.
Shares were off 4.5% to $38 in premarket trade as the company predicted a per-share profit of 54 cents to 56 cents, short of the 60 cents currently expected by analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
General Mills, whose brands includes Cheerios breakfast cereal and Progresso soups, also cut its full-year profit guidance to $2.53 to $2.55 a share, below the $2.59 to $2.61 per-share profit it had expected.
Earlier Friday, H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) reported volume in North America declined 2% in its latest quarter as the company raised prices on its Ore-Ida frozen potatoes, Classico pasta sauces and namesake ketchup.
Raising prices also caught up to J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM). The company earlier this week reported volumes fell a surprising 10% in its latest quarter as consumers experienced sticker shock on higher prices for Folgers coffee and other items.
General Mills in December reported its fiscal second-quarter earnings fell 28% as higher costs continued to outpace the food giant's sales growth.
The company expects to report fiscal third-quarter results on March 21.
-By Mia Lamar, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3207; firstname.lastname@example.org