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General Mills Falls After Profit Trails Estimates

General Mills Inc., the maker of Cheerios cereal and Pillsbury baking products, fell in New York trading after posting preliminary third-quarter profit that trailed analysts’ estimates.

The shares slid 2.4 percent to $49.77 at the close. Minneapolis-based General Mills has declined 0.3 percent this year, compared with a 0.4 percent drop for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Profit per share in the quarter ended Feb. 23 was 61 cents to 62 cents, the company said today in a statement. The average of 16 analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg was 68 cents.

Sales volumes fell about 1 percent, hurt by foreign-currency exchange-rate fluctuations and food-industry trends in developed markets, the company said.

General Mills plans to report full third-quarter results March 19.

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