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

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

McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday.

According to Zacks, “Estimates have remained unchanged 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 several other reports. Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded shares of McCormick & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $111.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, October 25th. Jefferies Group decreased their target price on shares of McCormick & Co. from $100.00 to $95.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. Deutsche Bank AG decreased their target price on shares of McCormick & Co. from $113.00 to $112.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, September 23rd. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein downgraded shares of McCormick & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and decreased their target price for the company from $113.00 to $104.00 in a research note on Friday, September 16th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. One investment 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. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $100.11.

Shares of McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) traded up 0.385% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $92.655. 223,420 shares of the company traded hands. The company has a 50 day moving average of $93.78 and a 200 day moving average of $98.66. McCormick & Co. has a 12 month low of $78.45 and a 12 month high of $107.84. The firm has a market capitalization of $11.68 billion, a P/E ratio of 25.581 and a beta of 0.50.

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

In other McCormick & Co. news, Director Freeman A. Hrabowski III sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.15, for a total transaction of $188,300.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 38,442 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,619,314.30. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. 13.70% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MKC. LPL Financial LLC raised its position in McCormick & Co. by 6.2% in the third quarter. LPL Financial LLC now owns 12,138 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,171,000 after buying an additional 707 shares in the last quarter. Verition Fund Management LLC purchased a new position in McCormick & Co. during the third quarter valued at approximately $591,000. Eaton Vance Management raised its position in McCormick & Co. by 1.6% in the third quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 48,884 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,884,000 after buying an additional 755 shares in the last quarter. KCM Investment Advisors LLC raised its position in McCormick & Co. by 0.7% in the third quarter. KCM Investment Advisors LLC now owns 25,089 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,507,000 after buying an additional 163 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Xact Kapitalforvaltning AB purchased a new position in McCormick & Co. during the third quarter valued at approximately $2,444,000. 72.26% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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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