Investors Buy Large Volume of Put Options on MCCORMICK & CO /SH (NYSE:MKC)

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MCCORMICK & CO /SH NV (NYSE:MKC) saw unusually large options trading on Wednesday. Investors bought 4,000 put options on the stock. This represents an increase of approximately 2,369% compared to the average volume of 162 put options.

Shares of MCCORMICK & CO /SH stock opened at $194.10 on Thursday. MCCORMICK & CO /SH has a 1 year low of $112.22 and a 1 year high of $211.07. The business has a 50-day moving average of $199.16 and a two-hundred day moving average of $174.95. The company has a market capitalization of $25.86 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 6.03 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.12, a current ratio of 1.02 and a quick ratio of 0.50.

MCCORMICK & CO /SH (NYSE:MKC) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Saturday, October 3rd. The company reported $1.53 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.52 by $0.01. The business had revenue of $1.43 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.39 billion. MCCORMICK & CO /SH had a return on equity of 21.34% and a net margin of 13.74%. MCCORMICK & CO /SH’s quarterly revenue was up 7.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.46 earnings per share. On average, equities analysts anticipate that MCCORMICK & CO /SH will post 5.75 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 19th. Investors of record on Monday, October 5th will be issued a dividend of $0.62 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Friday, October 2nd. This represents a $2.48 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.28%. MCCORMICK & CO /SH’s payout ratio is presently 46.36%.

In other news, insider Malcolm Swift sold 24,600 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, July 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $181.65, for a total transaction of $4,468,590.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 55,464 shares in the company, valued at $10,075,035.60. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Jacques Tapiero sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, August 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $199.49, for a total value of $997,450.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 9,433 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,881,789.17. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 12.70% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Two Sigma Advisers LP grew its holdings in shares of MCCORMICK & CO /SH by 85.2% during the second quarter. Two Sigma Advisers LP now owns 371,700 shares of the company’s stock worth $66,687,000 after buying an additional 171,000 shares in the last quarter. Two Sigma Securities LLC bought a new position in shares of MCCORMICK & CO /SH during the second quarter worth about $322,000. Principal Financial Group Inc. grew its stake in MCCORMICK & CO /SH by 3.3% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 286,637 shares of the company’s stock valued at $51,426,000 after purchasing an additional 9,267 shares in the last quarter. Handelsbanken Fonder AB bought a new position in MCCORMICK & CO /SH in the second quarter valued at approximately $5,966,000. Finally, Nuveen Asset Management LLC grew its stake in MCCORMICK & CO /SH by 29.0% in the second quarter. Nuveen Asset Management LLC now owns 583,056 shares of the company’s stock valued at $104,606,000 after purchasing an additional 131,175 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 74.90% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on MKC shares. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on MCCORMICK & CO /SH from $187.00 to $200.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 15th. Jefferies Financial Group raised MCCORMICK & CO /SH from an “underperform” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $167.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, June 22nd. Argus started coverage on MCCORMICK & CO /SH in a research note on Thursday, September 24th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $215.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Deutsche Bank increased their target price on MCCORMICK & CO /SH from $156.00 to $182.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, June 26th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $161.55.

About MCCORMICK & CO /SH

McCormick & Company, Incorporated manufactures, markets, and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments, and other flavorful products to the food industry. The company operates in two segments, Consumer and Flavor Solutions. The Consumer segment offers spices, herbs, and seasonings, as well as desserts.

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