McCormick's earnings increase 14.1%

March 17, 1992|By Ross Hetrick | Ross Hetrick,Staff Writer

McCormick & Co. Inc., the giant Sparks-based spice and food company, continued its winning streak with a 14.1 percent increase in earnings during its first fiscal quarter that ended Feb. 29.

Net income in the quarter was $17.3 million, or 21 cents a share, compared with $15.2 million, or 18 cents a share, for the same period a year ago. Sales declined from $323.6 million in the previous first quarter to $322.3 million because of the sale of a frozen chicken subsidiary last year. Excluding revenues from the sold operation, sales increased by 5 percent.

The company has been consistently profitable for at least the last two decades.

"This company is on a pretty serious earnings roll," said Clifford F. Ransom II, an analyst at Ferris Baker Watts Inc. Even though the company's food service business may have been hurt by fewer people eating out during the recession, the consumer products line was helped by more people eating at home, he said.

Even though earnings were up, they would have been even better without the recession, according to James A. Hooker, vice president and chief financial officer for McCormick. "Better economic conditions will make for a stronger McCormick," he said.

The company is widely expected to name Bailey A. Thomas as the new chief executive officer at the company's annual meeting tomorrow. He will replace Charles P. "Buzz" McCormick, who will remain as chairman.

Mr. Bailey is now president and chief operating officer of the company. The men have worked as a team since 1986, when Mr. McCormick became president and chief executive officer and Mr. Thomas was made executive vice president and

chief operating officer.

Three months ended 2/29/92

.. .. .. ..Revenue.. .. .. ... Net.. .. .. .. ..Share

'92.. .. .322,255,000.. .. .17,324,000.. .. .. .0.21

....323,561,000.. .. .15,188,000.. .. .. .0.18

% change.. .. -0.4.. .. .. .. +14.1.. .. .. .. .+16.7

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