Why McCormick & Company (MKC) Stock Is Up Today

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- McCormick & Company (MKC) is gaining over Tuesday's session after posting a better-than-expected first quarter.

By early afternoon, shares had added 5.2% to $71.

The spices and condiments maker reported net income of 62 cents a share in the three months to February, 4 cents higher than analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters had expected.

Quarterly sales grew 6% year on year to $993.4 million.

"Our first-quarter result was a great start to 2014 with higher sales, a profit result that was ahead of our initial outlook, and strong cash flow," said CEO Alan Wilson in a statement.

The Sparks, Maryland-based business reaffirmed its fiscal 2014 outlook of 3% to 5% sales growth with earnings between $3.22 and $3.29 a share.

Analysts forecast an average 4.3% sales growth and per-share earnings of $3.27.

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TheStreet Ratings team rates MCCORMICK & CO INC as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. The team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate MCCORMICK & CO INC (MKC) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, expanding profit margins, good cash flow from operations and notable return on equity. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself."

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