Finanzas: McCormick Reports Quarter Results and Increases 2016 Financial Outlook

 

McCormick & Company, Incorporated (MKC.V) (NYSE: MKC), a global leader in flavor, reported financial results for the third quarter ended August 31, 2016 and provided its latest financial outlook for fiscal year 2016.

Sales rose 3% in the third quarter from the year-ago period. In constant currency, the company grew sales 6%, with strong results in both the consumer and industrial segments.

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McCormick increased gross profit margin to 41.6% from 39.8% in the third quarter of 2015. Operating income was $168 million in the third quarter compared to $139 million in the year-ago period. Adjusted operating income was $172 million, a 12% increase from $154 million in the third quarter of 2015.

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Earnings per share increased to $1.00 from $0.76 in the third quarter of 2015, mainly due to the increase in operating income and a favorable tax rate. Adjusted earnings per share rose 21% to $1.03 from $0.85 in the third quarter of 2015.

For fiscal year 2016, based on its year-to-date performance and growth momentum, McCormick continues to expect solid sales growth and raised its projection for earnings per share.
President & CEO’s Remarks

Lawrence E. Kurzius, President and CEO, stated, «Our strong third quarter financial results demonstrate the effective execution of our strategy. We are driving both sales growth and significant productivity improvements, and expect 2016 to be a record year for McCormick. The efforts and engagement of employees throughout the company are driving this performance.

«Consumer demand for healthy and high quality flavors continues to grow in markets around the world. In both our consumer and industrial segments, we are meeting this demand with a broad portfolio of on-trend products in our base business, innovative new products and through acquisitions. All of these factors contributed to our third quarter sales increase of 3%, which was 6% in constant currency, and we achieved particularly strong growth in our consumer business in the U.S. and in China. We are balancing these strategies to grow sales with our actions to improve productivity and lower costs. Led by our Comprehensive Continuous Improvement (CCI) program, we expect to achieve cost savings of $100 million to $110 million in 2016. We are investing a portion of these savings in brand marketing and other growth initiatives and also driving greater profitability for our business, as demonstrated by the strong increase in third quarter operating income.»

Third Quarter 2016 Results

McCormick reported a 3% sales increase in the third quarter from the year-ago period, which included an unfavorable impact of 3% from foreign currency exchange rates. Acquisitions added 2% to the sales increase, including the incremental impact of Stubbs, purchased in August 2015, and Gourmet Garden, purchased in April 2016. The remaining sales growth of 4% was driven by product innovation, brand marketing support and expanded distribution, as well as pricing actions to offset an increase in material costs. Each of the company’s segments, consumer and industrial, is making progress with these growth strategies in 2016 and contributed to this third quarter sales increase. In constant currency, the company grew sales 6%.

Operating income was $168 million in the third quarter compared to $139 million in the year-ago period. The company recorded $4 million of special charges in the third quarter of 2016 related to organization and streamlining actions, and in the third quarter of 2015 recorded $15 million of special charges. In the third quarter of 2016 compared to the year-ago period, the favorable impact of higher sales and cost savings more than offset higher material costs and a $3 million increase in brand marketing. Excluding special charges, adjusted operating income was $172 million compared to $154 million of adjusted operating income in the year-ago period. In constant currency, adjusted operating income rose 15%.

Earnings per share was $1.00 in the third quarter compared to $0.76 in the year-ago period. Special charges lowered earnings per share by $0.03 and $0.09 in the third quarter of 2016 and 2015, respectively. In the third quarter of 2016 compared to the year-ago period, the increase in earnings per share was driven by higher operating income, including the impact of special charges, as well as a favorable tax rate and lower shares outstanding. Excluding the impact of special charges, adjusted earnings per share was $1.03 in the third quarter of 2016 compared to $0.85 in the year-ago period.

The company continues to generate strong cash flow and year-to-date net cash provided by operating activities through the third quarter of 2016 was $322 million compared to $317 million in the first three quarters of 2015.

2016 Financial Outlook

For the 2016 fiscal year, the company raised its financial outlook to reflect its strong year-to-date performance and current projection for the fourth quarter.

For the fiscal year, the company expects to grow sales approximately 3%, which is at the upper end of its previous range. Excluding the estimated impact of unfavorable currency rates, the projected growth rate is approximately 6%. The company expects higher base business sales, new products, acquisitions and pricing to contribute to this growth rate.

Operating income is expected to grow approximately 17% from $548 million of operating income in 2015. This projection includes the impact of estimated special charges that relate to organization and streamlining actions, which are now estimated to be $14 million in 2016 compared to $66 million in 2015. Excluding the impact of special charges, the company expects to grow adjusted operating income approximately 7% from adjusted operating income of $614 million in 2015. Excluding the estimated impact of unfavorable currency rates, the expected year to year increase in adjusted operating income is approximately 10%.

The company increased its projected 2016 earnings per share to a range of $3.68 to $3.72. This compares to $3.11 of earnings per share in 2015. The estimated impact of special charges in 2016 is $0.07 compared to $0.37 in 2015. Excluding the impact of special charges, the projected range for adjusted earnings per share in 2016 is $3.75 to $3.79 and compares to the previous guidance at the higher end of a $3.68 to $3.75 range. This latest projection is an increase of 8% to 9% from adjusted earnings per share of $3.48 in 2015. Excluding the estimated impact of unfavorable currency rates, the expected year to year increase in adjusted earnings per share is 12% to 13%. For the fiscal year 2016, another year of strong cash flow is anticipated, with plans to return a portion to McCormick’s shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

The company grew consumer segment sales 5% when compared to the third quarter of 2015. In constant currency, sales rose 7%, with an increase in each of the company’s three regions. Acquisitions added 3% to the sales increase this period. Volume and product mix, as well as pricing actions taken to offset higher material costs, also contributed to higher sales.

Consumer sales in the Americas rose 8%, with minimal impact from currency. In the U.S., the company had strong sales growth of McCormick and Lawry’s brand spices and seasonings, Zatarain’s brand items and Kitchen Basics products. Sales from Stubb’s, acquired August 2015, and Gourmet Garden, acquired April 2016, added 3 percentage points of the increase.

Consumer sales in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) decreased 2%. In constant currency, sales rose 1% from the year-ago period. Sales growth in France, Poland and Russia was driven by brand marketing, product innovation, expanded distribution and pricing. This growth was offset in part by sales weakness in a challenging U.K. retail environment.

Third quarter consumer sales in the Asia/Pacific region rose 5% and in constant currency, sales rose 11%. Sales of Gourmet Garden added 7 percentage points of the increase in this region. In addition, the company achieved strong sales growth in China. In India, the company decided in the third quarter of 2015 to discontinue sales of a low margin product line, which lowered the year-on-year sales growth rate this period.

Consumer segment operating income, excluding special charges, rose 11% to $127 million compared to $115 million in the year-ago period. In constant currency, adjusted operating income rose 12%. The favorable impact of sales growth and cost savings more than offset the unfavorable impact of increases in material costs and brand marketing. Also, operating results for the company’s Kohinoor business in India has improved from weak performance in the third quarter of 2015.

Industrial segment sales were comparable to the third quarter of 2015. However, in constant currency sales rose 4% with increases in each of the company’s three regions. Both volume and product mix and pricing actions taken in response to higher material costs, had a favorable impact on sales versus the year-ago period.

Industrial sales in the Americas grew 2% from the year-ago period and in constant currency, the increase was 4%. During the third quarter, the company gained share of branded food service sales in the U.S. and grew sales of snack seasonings and other products in Latin America.

In EMEA, industrial sales declined 7% from the year-ago period. In constant currency sales rose 5%, with increased sales of branded food service products and customized flavor solutions.

Industrial sales in the Asia/Pacific region declined 1%. In constant currency, sales rose 3%. Customer new products and promotional activity contributed to sales growth from the company’s operations in Australia and Southeast Asia. In China, sales were unfavorably impacted by a large customer’s recent decision to diversify their supply chain with a second supplier.

Industrial segment operating income, excluding special charges, rose 14% to $45 million from $39 million in the year-ago period. In constant currency, adjusted operating income rose 23%. The favorable impact of higher sales and cost savings, more than offset the unfavorable impact of increases in material costs and brand marketing.

For more information: Seeking Alpha

Fuente: Seeking Alpha


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