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

A number of other equities analysts have also recently weighed in on the stock. Sanford C. Bernstein cut shares of McCormick & Co. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lowered their price objective 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. Jefferies Group reduced their target price on shares of McCormick & Co. from $100.00 to $95.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. Deutsche Bank AG reduced their target price on shares of McCormick & Co. from $113.00 to $112.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, September 23rd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded shares of McCormick & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating and set a $111.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, October 25th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $100.11.

Analyst Recommendations for McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC)

McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) traded up 0.385% during trading on Monday, reaching $92.655. 223,420 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. The company has a market cap of $11.68 billion, a PE ratio of 25.581 and a beta of 0.50. McCormick & Co. has a 12-month low of $78.45 and a 12-month high of $107.84. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $93.78 and a 200-day moving average price of $98.66.

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

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

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in MKC. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its stake 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 valued at $111,000 after buying an additional 237 shares in the last quarter. FineMark National Bank & Trust raised its stake 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 valued at $113,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter. Coconut Grove Bank raised its stake in shares of McCormick & Co. by 5.7% in the third quarter. Coconut Grove Bank now owns 1,210 shares of the company’s stock valued at $121,000 after buying an additional 65 shares in the last quarter. Washington Trust Bank raised its stake 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 valued at $136,000 after buying an additional 1,233 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its stake 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 valued at $142,000 after buying an additional 632 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 72.26% 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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MKC

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