McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The brokerage currently has a $115.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 12.91% from the stock’s previous close.

According to Zacks, “McCormick has outdone the industry in a year, backed by its focus on buyouts, innovations, cost savings and efficient marketing initiatives. These factors helped the company retain its stellar past record in fourth-quarter fiscal 2017, wherein both top and bottom lines rose year over year and topped estimates. While earnings gained from solid sales and cost savings, sales gained from buyouts, strong growth in the base business and new product additions. Notably, buyouts aided sales growth of 15%, and will likely remain a major driver. However, stiff competition in the food space may hurt profits. Also, the company remains susceptible to high material costs, which are expected to rise in fiscal 2018. Nonetheless, these are likely to be cushioned by the company’s CCI program, which has been boosting margins for quite some time. Further, management expects these factors to continue driving McCormick, as reflected in its fiscal 2018 view.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently commented on MKC. Jefferies Group reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $120.00 target price on shares of McCormick & Company, Incorporated in a research note on Thursday, January 25th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on shares of McCormick & Company, Incorporated from $103.00 to $110.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, January 26th. UBS Group upped their target price on shares of McCormick & Company, Incorporated from $100.00 to $106.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, January 26th. Credit Suisse Group set a $115.00 target price on shares of McCormick & Company, Incorporated and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 12th. Finally, Deutsche Bank downgraded shares of McCormick & Company, Incorporated from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating and lowered their target price for the company from $103.00 to $98.00 in a research note on Friday, January 19th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. McCormick & Company, Incorporated has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $107.67.

Shares of McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE MKC) traded down $0.45 during trading hours on Tuesday, reaching $101.85. 180,981 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,172,058. McCormick & Company, Incorporated has a 1 year low of $90.25 and a 1 year high of $109.67. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.73, a current ratio of 0.83 and a quick ratio of 0.42. The company has a market capitalization of $13,351.73, a P/E ratio of 27.53, a PEG ratio of 2.23 and a beta of 0.61.

McCormick & Company, Incorporated (NYSE:MKC) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, January 25th. The company reported $1.54 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.52 by $0.02. McCormick & Company, Incorporated had a net margin of 9.88% and a return on equity of 25.30%. The firm had revenue of $1.49 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.48 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.27 earnings per share. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 21.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities analysts forecast that McCormick & Company, Incorporated will post 4.88 earnings per share for the current year.

In other news, Director Patricia A. Little sold 6,250 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, January 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.63, for a total transaction of $678,937.50. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 15,497 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,683,439.11. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP Michael R. Smith sold 2,575 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, January 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.96, for a total transaction of $277,997.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 17,312 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,869,003.52. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 15.30% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of MKC. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in McCormick & Company, Incorporated by 81.9% during the third quarter. Amundi Pioneer Asset Management Inc. now owns 1,629,070 shares of the company’s stock worth $167,208,000 after purchasing an additional 733,375 shares during the last quarter. Jennison Associates LLC acquired a new position in McCormick & Company, Incorporated during the fourth quarter worth $43,817,000. Darrell & King LLC acquired a new position in McCormick & Company, Incorporated during the third quarter worth $34,615,000. Koch Industries Inc. acquired a new position in McCormick & Company, Incorporated during the second quarter worth $306,000. Finally, Eaton Vance Management boosted its holdings in McCormick & Company, Incorporated by 38.0% during the fourth quarter. Eaton Vance Management now owns 872,011 shares of the company’s stock worth $88,866,000 after purchasing an additional 240,274 shares during the last quarter. 76.16% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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McCormick & Company, Incorporated Company Profile

McCormick & Company, Incorporated is engaged in manufacturing, marketing and distributing spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavorful products to the food industry, including retailers, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses. The Company’s segments include consumer and industrial. The Company is involved in the manufacturing and sales of flavorful products.

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