6. McCormick & Company (MKC - Get Report) engages in the manufacture, marketing and distribution of spices, seasonings, specialty foods and flavorings to the food industry. Its sales, distribution and production facilities are in North America and Europe. The company operates in two business segments: consumer and industrial. The stock has a beta of 0.60
For the first quarter of 2011, the company reported earnings of $76.8 million, or 57 cents per share, compared to $67.9 million, or 51 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter. Revenue for the period increased 2.4% year-over-year to $782.8 million from $764.5 million, because of pricing action taken in response to increased raw material and packaging material costs. Cash and cash equivalents soared to $40.6 million from $21.9 million in the comparable period of last year.
The company recently announced that it has signed a joint venture agreement with Kohinoor Foods Ltd (KFL) to market and sell its basmati rice and food products in India. The agreement is expected to close later in 2011, subject to regulatory and other approvals in India. McCormick will invest a total of $115 million, which includes an 85% interest in the JV.Of the 15 analysts covering the stock, 47% recommend a buy and the rest rate a hold. There are no sell ratings on the stock. On average, analysts estimate 5.7% upside to $52.50 in value from current levels.