(By Balachander) McCormick & Co. Inc. (NYSE:MKC
) posted a 13 percent increase in earnings for the third quarter helped by growth in sales and the spice maker raised its forecast for the full year.
McCormick, which also provides herbs and extracts, earned $104.4 million or 78 cents a share for the quarter, up from $92.0 million or 69 cents per share in the year-ago quarter.
Sales rose 6.2 percent to $977 million boosted by acquisitions and introduction of new products. Sales increased 9 percent in local currency. Emerging markets accounted for 14 percent of quarterly sales.
Wall Street analysts, on average, expected earnings per share of 76 cents on sales of $989.6 million for the third quarter ended August.
Gross profit margin improved to 40.1 percent from 39.6 percent.
Sales from the company's consumer business and industrial business units climbed 9 percent and 3 percent, respectively.
Looking ahead for full year 2012, the company now forecasts earnings per share in the range of $3.03 to $3.08 from prior view of $3.01 to $3.06, while analysts expect $3.05. The company backed sales growth forecast of 9 percent to 11 percent in local currency.
The stock, which has been trading between $44.20 and $63.91 over the past year, closed Wednesday's regular trading at $62.89.