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.