The McCormick & Co. (MKC) Cut to “Hold” at The Zacks Investment Research

The McCormick & Co. (MKC) Cut to “Hold” at The Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research lowered shares of McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday.

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.”

A number of other brokerages have also recently issued reports on MKC. Credit Suisse Group AG raised McCormick & Co. from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $111.00 target price for the company in a research report on Tuesday, October 25th. Sanford C. Bernstein cut McCormick & Co. from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and decreased their target price for the stock from $113.00 to $104.00 in a research report on Friday, September 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Deutsche Bank AG decreased their target price 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. Finally, Jefferies Group decreased their target price 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. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $100.11.

Shares of McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) opened at 92.30 on Tuesday. The company has a market cap of $11.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.48 and a beta of 0.50. McCormick & Co. has a 1-year low of $78.45 and a 1-year high of $107.84. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $93.77 and its 200 day moving average is $98.66.

McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) last announced its earnings results on Friday, September 30th. The company reported $1.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.09. The firm earned $1.09 billion during the quarter. McCormick & Co. had a return on equity of 27.26% and a net margin of 10.58%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the previous year, the company earned $0.85 EPS. Equities analysts expect that McCormick & Co. will post $3.79 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director Freeman A. Hrabowski III sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 11th. The stock was 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 directly owns 38,442 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,619,314.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. 13.70% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its position in shares of McCormick & Co. by 29.3% in the second quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 1,045 shares of the company’s stock worth $111,000 after buying an additional 237 shares during the last quarter. FineMark National Bank & Trust raised its position in shares of McCormick & Co. by 3,142.9% in the third quarter. FineMark National Bank & Trust now owns 1,135 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares during the last quarter. Coconut Grove Bank raised its position in shares of McCormick & Co. by 1.1% in the second quarter. Coconut Grove Bank now owns 1,145 shares of the company’s stock worth $122,000 after buying an additional 12 shares during the last quarter. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in shares of McCormick & Co. by 90.4% in the second quarter. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 1,331 shares of the company’s stock worth $142,000 after buying an additional 632 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Washington Trust Bank raised its position in shares of McCormick & Co. by 986.4% in the third quarter. Washington Trust Bank now owns 1,358 shares of the company’s stock worth $136,000 after buying an additional 1,233 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 73.78% of the company’s stock.

McCormick & Co. Company Profile

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.

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