McCormick's Higher Profit Bland to Investors

(McCormick earnings report corrected to show that the company beat profit expectations.)
SPARKS, Md. (TheStreet) -- McCormick (MKC) shares continued to slide Wednesday after the spice maker missed quarterly revenue expectations on Tuesday.

McCormick said Tuesday it recorded higher net income for the recent quarter as price increases successfully offset commodity cost inflation, but results failed to meet analysts' expectations.

McCormick shares closed lower by 1.6% in Tuesday's session, and fell another 1.7% at midday Wednesday to trade around $47.93 amid heavier-than-normal volume. Around 1.3 million shares changed hands less than halfway through the day's session, compared with their average daily volume of just 838,000.

In the three months ended Feb. 28, McCormick earned $76.8 million, or 57 cents per share, up 13.1% from year-earlier income of $67.9 million, or 51 cents per share.

Revenue rose 2.4% to $782.8 million.

While bottom-line results topped expectations for earnings of $71.7 million, or 54 cents per share, the top-line sales figure came up short. Analysts had expected the spice maker to book revenue of $803 million.

McCormick said weakness in Europe was partially offset by growing demand in emerging markets like Mexico and China.

The company reiterated its outlook for 2011 earnings of $2.80 to $2.85 per share, in line with analysts' call for a profit of $2.83 per share.

A number of food companies have recently reported that higher ingredient and commodity costs have pressured their results in recent quarters as global food prices continue to rise.

Companies including McDonald's ( MCD), Hershey ( HSY), Kraft Foods ( KFT) and Starbucks ( SBUX) have all said their financial results were impacted by higher commodity costs on everything from wheat and sugar to coffee beans and fuel.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Miriam Reimer.

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