General Mills Profit, Sales Miss Expectations

General Mills reported lower-than-expected quarterly profit and sales, hurt by weak demand for its Yoplait yogurt and Progresso soups in the United States, its biggest market.

Shares of the Cheerios breakfast cereal maker, which also slashed its 2017 organic sales forecast, fell 3.3 percent in premarket trading on Tuesday.

General Mills expects 2017 sales, excluding acquisitions and divestitures, to decline 3-4 percent from 2016. It had previously anticipated sales would be flat to down 2 percent.

The Minneapolis-based company said a decline in volumes hurt sales growth by 9 percent in its U.S. business in the second quarter ended Nov. 27. General Mills gets about 60 percent of its sales from the United States.

Net sales fell 7 percent to $4.11 billion. Analysts on average had expected $4.23 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net earnings attributable to the company fell to $481.8 million, or 80 cents per share, from $529.5 million, or 87 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding certain items, the company earned 85 cents per share, missing the analysts' average estimate by a cent.

(Reporting by Gayathree Ganesan in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto and Sayantani Ghosh)