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McCormick & Co. 2Q profit rises as prices climb

McCormick & Co. Inc. said Wednesday that its second-quarter net income rose 9 percent, buoyed in part by higher prices, strength in emerging markets and acquisitions.

The Sparks-based spice and flavoring maker earned $80.4 million, or 60 cents per share, for the three months ended May 31, compared with $73.6 million, or 55 cents per share, a year earlier.

This met the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet.

McCormick makes an array of spices and other cooking products for consumers, restaurants and food manufacturers. Like many companies in the food sector, McCormick has dealt with rising costs for ingredients as global commodity prices climb.

Chairman, President and CEO Alan Wilson said in a statement that the company has increased prices to help offset some of the impact of increasing ingredient costs.

Revenue climbed 11 percent to $984 million from $883.7 million. This topped Wall Street’s estimate of $965 million.

Emerging markets comprised 14 percent of the period’s sales, with consumer sales for Europe the Middle East and Africa increasing 27 percent. These sales benefited from the 2011 buyout of Kamis, a Polish brand of spices, seasonings and mustards.

Consumer sales for the Asia Pacific region climbed 66 percent, mostly due to last year’s acquisition of Kohinoor in India.

Many companies have focused on emerging markets more as economic conditions continue to flail in the U.S. This gives them another avenue for revenue growth.

McCormick maintained its full-year earnings guidance of $3.01 to $3.06 per share. The company said it still anticipates sales will rise 9 percent to 11 percent, implying $4.04 billion to $4.11 billion.

Analysts expect earnings of $3.05 per share on revenue of $4.04 billion.

Its shares gained $1.67, or 2.9 percent, to close Wednesday at $59.09. That is closer to the high end of their 52-week range of $43.36 to $59.24.