McCormick & Company Earnings: Margin Expansion Driven by Revenue Growth, Profit Rises

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component McCormick & Company Inc. (NYSE:MKC) reported its results for the third quarter. McCormick & Company manufactures flavor products including spices, herbs, extracts, seasonings, flavorings, and other food products.

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McCormick & Company Inc. Earnings Cheat Sheet

Results: Net income for McCormick & Company Inc. rose to $104.4 million (78 cents per share) vs. $92 million (69 cents per share) in the same quarter a year earlier. This marks a rise of 13.5% from the year-earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 6.2% to $977.7 million from the year-earlier quarter.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: McCormick & Company Inc. beat the mean analyst estimate of 76 cents per share. Analysts were expecting revenue of $969.8 million.

Quoting Management: Alan D. Wilson, Chairman, President and CEO, commented, “Our third quarter financial results demonstrate the effectiveness of McCormick’s growth initiatives, even in a challenging economic environment. We reported a 9% increase in sales in local currency and strong profit growth with solid performance in both our consumer and industrial businesses. Acquisitions, new product innovation, brand marketing programs and expanded distribution are helping to drive sales growth in each geographic region. We had particular strength in emerging markets which accounted for 14% of third quarter sales. In mid-2013, we anticipate expanding our emerging market presence with the acquisition of Wuhan Asia-Pacific Condiments Co., Ltd., which will extend our geographic footprint and flavor portfolio in China.”

Key Stats:

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue increased 11.4% to $984 million in the second quarter. The figure rose 15.8% in the first quarter from the year earlier and climbed 13.4% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter.

The company topped expectations last quarter after falling short of forecasts in the second quarter with net income of 60 cents versus a mean estimate of net income of 61 cents per share.

Last quarter, gross margins grew to 40.1%, a 0.5 percentage point difference from the year-earlier quarter. This ends a streak of two consecutive quarters of shrinking margins.

The company has now seen net income rise in two straight quarters. In the second quarter, net income rose 9.2% from the year earlier.

Looking Forward: Expectations for the company’s next-quarter performance are higher than they were ninety days ago. Over the past three months, the average estimate for the fourth quarter has risen to $1.13 per share from $1.12. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has been unchanged at $3.05 a share.

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(Company fundamentals provided by Xignite Financials. Earnings estimates provided by Zacks)

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