McCormick & Co. Inc. (MKC) recently recalled more than 1000 McCormick Ground Oregano 0.75 oz bottles, after FDA testing showed that these products might contain Salmonella. The recall however did not impact any other McCormick Ground, Whole or Oregano Leaves products. The company manufactures, markets, and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments, and other flavored products to retail outlets, food manufacturers, and foodservice businesses.
Salmonella is an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Thankfully, no such case has been reported as of now.
McCormick, on its part, has alerted grocery outlets to remove McCormick Ground Oregano products with code dates BEST BY AUG 21 16 H and AUG 22 16 H from its stores. Also, consumers who have purchased the products have been urged to destroy them and ask for a replacement or refund from McCormick Consumer Affairs.
Last month, the company reported second quarter fiscal 2014 results wherein it delivered better-than-expected earnings, but missed the revenue expectation by a slight margin. Earnings of 64 cents per share beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 62 cents by 3.2% and increased 8% from the year-ago earnings of 59 cents per share. Top-line growth, cost saving initiatives, higher operating income and a lower tax rate contributed to the higher earnings in the quarter. Lower shares outstanding owing to share buybacks also contributed to the bottom line.
Revenues of $1,033.4 million grew 3% year over year, driven by positive results in both the consumer and industrial business segments. The acquisition of Wuhan Asia-Pacific Condiments Co. Ltd. (acquired in May 2013) contributed 3% to net sales growth. (Read: McCormick Beats on Q2 Earnings; Re-Affirms View).
McCormick currently holds a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Some better-ranked stocks in the food industry include Treehouse Foods Inc. (THS), Boulder Brands Inc. (BDBD) and Pinnacle Foods Inc (PF). While Treehouse sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Boulder Brands and Pinnacle Foods carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).