McCormick & Company Inc. Fourth Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component McCormick & Company, Inc. (NYSE:MKC) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, January 26, 2012. McCormick & Company manufactures flavor products including spices, herbs, extracts, seasonings, flavorings, and other food products.

McCormick & Company, Inc. Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet.

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for profit of 97 cents per share, a decline of 2% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 98 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It has been unchanged at 97 cents during the last month. Analysts are projecting profit to rise by 4.9% versus last year to $2.78.

Past Earnings Performance: Last quarter, the company beat estimates by 4 cents, coming in at net income of 69 cents a share versus the estimate of profit of 65 cents a share. It marked the fourth straight quarter of beating estimates.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 11.3% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $1.09 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts are bullish on this stock with nine analysts rating it as a buy, none rating it as a sell and six rating it as a hold.

A Look Back: In the third quarter, profit fell 10.2% to $92 million (69 cents a share) from $102.4 million (76 cents a share) the year earlier, but exceeded analyst expectations. Revenue rose 15.8% to $920.4 million from $794.6 million.

Key Stats:

The decrease in profit in the third quarter broke a streak of three consecutive quarters of year-over-year profit increases. Net income rose 11.2% in the second quarter, 13.1% in the first quarter and 15% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 10.7% in the second quarter from the year earlier, climbed 2.4% in the first quarter from the year-ago quarter and 5.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Competitors to Watch: TreeHouse Foods Inc. (NYSE:THS), Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB), H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE:HNZ), ConAgra Foods, Inc. (NYSE:CAG), Vitamin Spice (VTMS), General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS), Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RAH), The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN), The J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE:SJM), and Bridgford Foods Corp. (NASDAQ:BRID).

Stock Price Performance: During November 21, 2011 to January 20, 2012, the stock price had risen $4.31 (9.1%) from $47.20 to $51.51. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between April 21, 2011 and April 29, 2011 when shares rose for six-straight days, rising 2.5% (+$1.18) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between November 15, 2011 and November 23, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 5.7% (-$2.80) over that span.

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

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