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McCormick 1Q Profit Rises

Tue, 04/02/2013 - 9:33am

SPARKS, Md. (AP) — McCormick & Co.'s first-quarter net income edged up 2 percent, bolstered in part by increased prices and strength in emerging markets. The spice and flavoring maker reaffirmed its full-year earnings forecast on Tuesday.

McCormick makes an array of spices and other cooking products for consumers, restaurants and food manufacturers. Like many companies in the food sector, McCormick has dealt with rising costs for ingredients as global commodity prices climb.

For the three months ended Feb. 28, McCormick earned $76 million, or 57 cents per share. That's up from $74.5 million, or 55 cents per share, a year ago.

Analysts polled by FactSet expected earnings of 56 cents per share.

Revenue rose 3 percent to $934.4 million from $906.7 million. Wall Street forecast $925.7 million in revenue.

Consumer business sales climbed 7 percent, helped by increased volume and product mix and higher prices. Sales in the Asia Pacific region rose 13 percent, while sales in the Americas climbed 7 percent and sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa rose 4 percent.

Consumer business sales increased 14 percent in emerging markets.

Industrial business sales dipped 2 percent, with demand softening in some markets such as quick-service restaurants in the U.S. and China. Industrial sales for the Asia Pacific region fell 12 percent, while sales for the Americas declined 3 percent. Industrial sales for Europe, the Middle East and Africa climbed 7 percent.

McCormick, which is based in Sparks, Md. still expects 2013 earnings of $3.15 to $3.23 per share, with revenue up 3 percent to 5 percent on a local currency basis.

Analysts predict earnings of $3.22 per share.

Its shares slipped 21 cents to $72.50 in premarket trading Tuesday. They are trading near the high end of their 52-week range of $53.31 to $73.69.

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