McCormick Q3 Net Flat Amid Lower Quick Service Restaurant Demand

McCormick & Co.’s third-quarter net income was flat from a year ago, as lower demand from quick service restaurant offset sales growth of snack seasonings and other flavors supplied to food manufacturers.

Net income for the quarter was flat at $104.4 million, or 78 cents a share, from a year ago. Although third-quarter sales rose to $1.02 billion from $977.7 million a year earlier, as it benefited from its acquisition of Wuhan Asia Pacific Condiments (WAPC).

For the fourth quarter, McCormick expects to grow both sales and adjusted earnings per share about 7%. The adjusted per-share earnings projection excludes the impact of an estimated $20 million fourth quarter settlement charge that relates to a previously announced lump sum payout program offered to former U.S. employees with deferred vested pension benefits.

For the company’s Comprehensive Continuous Improvement program (CCI), it now expects at least $55 million in cost savings during 2013.

“We expect improved growth in sales and profit in the fourth quarter,” said Alan D. Wilson, the company’s chairman, president and CEO. “However, we have moderated our outlook for 2013 and on an adjusted basis, expect earnings per share to be at the lower end of our $3.13 to $3.19 range. One of the primary reasons for this reduction is weak demand for industrial products by our quick service restaurant customers in the Americas.”

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