Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report released on Monday morning.

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 issued reports on MKC. Credit Suisse Group AG upgraded shares of McCormick & Co. from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and set a $111.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 25th. Deutsche Bank AG decreased their price objective on shares of McCormick & Co. from $113.00 to $112.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, September 23rd. Jefferies Group cut their target price on shares of McCormick & Co. from $100.00 to $95.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein lowered shares of McCormick & Co. from an outperform rating to a market perform rating and cut 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 equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. McCormick & Co. has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $100.11.

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

McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) opened at 92.38 on Monday. McCormick & Co. has a 52-week low of $78.45 and a 52-week high of $107.84. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $93.68 and its 200-day moving average is $98.63. The company has a market cap of $11.65 billion, a PE ratio of 25.51 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, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.94 by $0.09. McCormick & Co. had a net margin of 10.58% and a return on equity of 27.26%. The firm had revenue of $1.09 billion for the quarter. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.85 EPS. McCormick & Co.’s revenue was up 2.9% compared to the same quarter last year. Equities research analysts predict that McCormick & Co. will post $3.79 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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In related news, Director Freeman A. Hrabowski III sold 2,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated 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 owns 38,442 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,619,314.30. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Corporate insiders own 13.70% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV increased its position in shares of McCormick & Co. by 0.3% in the third quarter. Rowland & Co. Investment Counsel ADV now owns 3,790 shares of the company’s stock valued at $379,000 after buying an additional 10 shares in the last quarter. Coconut Grove Bank increased its position in shares of McCormick & Co. by 1.1% in the second quarter. Coconut Grove Bank now owns 1,145 shares of the company’s stock valued at $122,000 after buying an additional 12 shares in the last quarter. Synovus Financial Corp increased its position in shares of McCormick & Co. by 0.6% in the second quarter. Synovus Financial Corp now owns 2,356 shares of the company’s stock valued at $250,000 after buying an additional 15 shares in the last quarter. HM Capital Management LLC increased its position in shares of McCormick & Co. by 0.5% in the second quarter. HM Capital Management LLC now owns 3,641 shares of the company’s stock valued at $388,000 after buying an additional 17 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Mission Wealth Management LLC increased its position in shares of McCormick & Co. by 1.0% in the second quarter. Mission Wealth Management LLC now owns 2,342 shares of the company’s stock valued at $250,000 after buying an additional 24 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.

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