The stock price of General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) declined more than 3% to $52 per share at the time of this writing around 11:16 A.M. in New York after the company reported fiscal fourth quarter earnings that missed the estimates of Wall Street analysts.

General Mills

Ken Powell, chairman and CEO of General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) said the company’s plan for 2014 called for sales and earnings growth consistent with its long-term business model and increased cash returns to shareholders.

“We made good progress building our worldwide food businesses, but our sales and operating profit were disappointing. In the fourth quarter, promotional spending in developed markets was less effective than we planned, and input cost inflation was a bit above our forecast. Net sales and adjusted gross margin fell short of our targets,” said Powell.

Generals Mills 4Q financial results

General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) said its adjusted earnings were $0.67 per share on net sales of $4.3 billion. Wall Street analysts polled by Bloomberg expected the company to report earnings of $0.72 per share.

The maker of Cheerios cereal and Yoplait yogurt said its adjusted gross margin declined by 10 basis points, and its adjusted operating profit of $733 million was in line with its results last year.

According to General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS), its U.S. Retail segment generated $2.4 billion in net sales in the fourth quarter, down by 1%. Its International segment reported $1.3 billion in net sales, a decline of 7%. The company’s Convenience Stored and Food Service segment achieved a 1% growth in net sales to $508 million.

General Mills cost-cutting plan

General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) said it would start reviewing its distribution and manufacturing network in North America as part of its wider effort to cut costs. According to the company, the cost-cutting plan would generate pretax savings of $40 million in fiscal 2015 and additional savings the following year.

General Mills 2015 Outlook

Powell said the number one objective of General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) for the fiscal 2015 is to accelerate its topline growth. According to him, “Our fiscal 2015 plans include a strong new-product lineup, compelling news or renovation on many existing brands, and a full slate of consumer-focused marketing initiatives.”

The company expected its fiscal 2015 net sales and operating profit to grow by mid-single digit rate while adjusted EPS at a high-single digit rate in constant currency.