New York

General Mills quarterly profit beat Wall Street estimates and the Cheerios cereal maker raised its full-year forecast, benefiting from its efforts to cut costs and raise prices, sending its shares up 6 per cent on Wednesday.

Consumer goods companies like General Mills have been raising product prices to make up for rising commodities and transportation costs.

“Our year-to-date performance and fourth-quarter plans give us confidence that we will meet or exceed all of our key fiscal 2019 targets,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Harmening said in a statement.

The company’s adjusted gross margin rose 170 basis points to 34.2 per cent in the third quarter and beat the analyst average estimate of 32.89 per cent.

General Mills, which owns dessert pre-mix brand Betty Crocker and Nature Valley granola bars, said it expects adjusted profit for fiscal 2019 to be between flat and 1 per cent from a prior forecast range of flat to down 3 per cent.

The company’s net sales rose 8 per cent to $4.20 billion in the third quarter, largely in line with expectations of $4.19 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Excluding one-time items, the company earned 83 cents per for the quarter ended February 24 to beat expectations of 69 cents.