Before the opening bell on Tuesday, packaged foods and spices maker McCormick & Company (MKC ) reported lower earnings for the first quarter, but beat analysts’ estimates.
MKC's Earnings in Brief
- The company reported earnings of $70.5 million, or 55 cents per share, down from $82.5 million, or 62 cents per share, last year.
- Excluding special items, EPS was 70 cents – above analysts’ estimate of 64 cents.
- Revenue increased 2% to $1.01 billion from $993 million. Analysts expected to see lower revenue of $985.12 million.
- Looking ahead to FY2015, MKC expects to see adjusted EPS between $3.44 and $3.51. Previously, the company expected adjusted EPS to be between $3.51 and $3.58.
Alan D. Wilson, Chairman and CEO, commented: “Our first quarter results demonstrated progress with our sales growth strategies, and our profit result has us off to a strong start in 2015. In the U.S. consumer business, we are introducing new products, including a relaunch of our entire gourmet line, and building brand equity, with plans underway for a strong grilling campaign. Our consumer business in China continued a double-digit rate of growth, with an 18% sales increase driven by brand building activities, geographic expansion and great in-store execution. We drove industrial business sales with product innovation, increased demand for snack seasonings, strong growth with quick service restaurants in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and improvement in China. In the face of difficult retail and competitive conditions in many markets, we are particularly pleased with our first quarter sales performance. In addition, we recently signed two acquisition agreements. Drogheria & Alimentari is a leader in spices and seasonings in Italy and complements McCormick’s strong brands across Europe. Brand Aromatics is a supplier of natural savory flavors, marinades, broth and stock concentrates to the packaged food industry and adds great capabilities to our industrial business. Both businesses are right in line with our acquisition strategy.”
The company paid its last 40 cent dividend on January 14. We expect MKC to declare its next dividend in the coming weeks.
Shares of MKC were up $1.80, or 2.46% during premarket trading Tuesday. The stock is down 1.48% YTD.