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McCormick beats Street estimates in fourth quarter

Spice maker McCormick and Co. Inc. reported higher-than-expected quarterly results, as it passed on higher costs of dairy products and other raw materials to its customers.

However, the Sparks-based company's profit forecast for 2012 came in below estimates, as the price increases are likely to hurt demand.

For the fourth quarter ended Nov. 30, net income fell to $131.7 million, or 98 cents a share, from $133.6 million, or 99 cents a share, a year ago.

Sales rose 13 percent to $1.11 billion.

Analysts on average were expecting earnings of 97 cents a share before special items, on a revenue of $1.09 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

McCormick, which began in 1889 as a door-to-door business operating out of a room and a cellar, expects a fiscal 2012 profit of $3.01 to $3.06 a share, short of analysts' expectations of $3.10 per share.

Shares of the company, which makes and distributes spices, herbs, seasoning blends and sauces to grocers, warehouse clubs and drug stores, closed at $51.86 on Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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