Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Monday. The brokerage currently has $102.00 price objective on the stock.
According to Zacks, “Estimates have been moving upward since McCormick delivered better-than-expected results in the third quarter of fiscal 2016. In fact, the company has been delivering better-than-expected earnings in the last four consecutive quarters. McCormick has been witnessing rising demand for spices, herbs and seasonings over the last few years, which is boosting its sales. Product innovation, brand marketing support and expanded distribution, as well as pricing actions also led to sales growth, offsetting the negative impact of material costs and currency. It is encouraging that McCormick is focusing on building sales through acquisitions, and expects strong sales momentum to continue in fiscal 2016. Its cost savings initiatives are also appealing. The company has thus raised its financial guidance for fiscal 2016 driven by strong year-to-date performance and current projections for the fourth quarter.”
MKC has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded McCormick & Co. from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $111.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 25th. Deutsche Bank AG cut their price objective on McCormick & Co. from $113.00 to $112.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. Jefferies Group cut their price objective on McCormick & Co. from $100.00 to $95.00 and set a hold rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 12th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein lowered McCormick & Co. from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and cut their price objective for the company from $113.00 to $104.00 in a research report on Friday, September 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $100.11.
McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) opened at 91.08 on Monday. The company has a market cap of $11.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.15 and a beta of 0.50. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $93.91 and its 200-day moving average price is $98.70. McCormick & Co. has a 52-week low of $78.45 and a 52-week high of $107.84.
McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Friday, September 30th. The company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.94 by $0.09. The business had revenue of $1.09 billion for the quarter. McCormick & Co. had a return on equity of 27.26% and a net margin of 10.58%. McCormick & Co.’s revenue was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $0.85 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that McCormick & Co. will post $3.79 EPS for the current year.
In other McCormick & Co. news, Director Freeman A. Hrabowski III sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.15, for a total value of $188,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 38,442 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,619,314.30. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 13.70% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BB&T Corp increased its stake in shares of McCormick & Co. by 580.0% in the second quarter. BB&T Corp now owns 169,660 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,098,000 after buying an additional 144,709 shares during the last quarter. LMR Partners LLP increased its stake in McCormick & Co. by 10.2% in the third quarter. LMR Partners LLP now owns 3,873 shares of the company’s stock valued at $387,000 after buying an additional 358 shares in the last quarter. Royal Bank of Canada increased its stake in McCormick & Co. by 7.2% in the second quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 309,814 shares of the company’s stock valued at $33,047,000 after buying an additional 20,754 shares in the last quarter. Ferguson Wellman Capital Management Inc. bought a new stake in McCormick & Co. during the second quarter valued at $207,000. Finally, Allegis Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in McCormick & Co. by 11.9% in the second quarter. Allegis Investment Advisors LLC now owns 3,101 shares of the company’s stock valued at $319,000 after buying an additional 331 shares in the last quarter. 73.78% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
About McCormick & Co.
McCormick & Company, Incorporated manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the food industry, including retailers, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses. The Company operates in two segments: consumer and industrial. Its brands in the Americas include McCormick, Lawry’s, Stubb’s, Club House, Zatarain’s, Thai Kitchen and Simply Asia.