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McCormick announces $400M stock repurchase

SPARKS — McCormick & Co. said Thursday it approved the repurchase of $400 million in company stock.

McCormick makes an array of spices and other cooking products for consumers, restaurants and food manufacturers. The company reported results for its fiscal first quarter on Tuesday, and its net income and revenue were both slightly better than Wall Street expected. McCormick’s shares are trading around all-time highs.

The company approved the repurchase of $400 million in stock in June 2010 and expects to complete that program in 2013. McCormick had 12.4 million common shares on the market as of Feb. 28.

When companies buy back shares, the value of the outstanding shares increases. Each remaining share represents a larger slice of the company’s profits.

McCormick also declared a quarterly dividend of 34 cents. Its next dividend is payable April 29 to shareholders of record on April 15.

On Tuesday, McCormick said its net income and revenue rose in the fiscal first quarter. That was partly because of increased prices and strength in emerging markets. The company backed its earnings forecast for the full year, saying it expects to earn between $3.15 and $3.23 per share.

Analysts expect $3.21 per share, according to FactSet.

McCormick stock closed at $71.60 on Wednesday after trading as high as $73.70 on Tuesday. The shares slumped after the company reported its fourth-quarter results in late January, but they are up 16.9 percent since Jan. 28.