McCormick: The Right Spice

02/22/2016 7:00 am EST

Focus: STOCKS

Vita Nelson

Founding Publisher and Editor, Moneypaper

Bad things are going to happen from time to time in the stock market, but equities tend to go up a lot more often than they go down, so letting the pullbacks cloud our judgment will not accomplish much, asserts Vita Nelson, editor of Direct Investing.

Recognize that time is our best ally. When we decide which companies are the best businesses to own, we then must consider stock price and decide whether to buy or wait for a better price.

So when a stock goes on sale, it should be a happy occasion, not a reason for panic. Unless something specific has happened to make a business less attractive, buying—not selling—that stock is the proper course.

Buying should be that much easier if we are using dollar-cost averaging, rather than making a lump-sum purchase.

And reinvesting dividends is an automatic way to take advantage of sale prices. So down markets are simply a test of whether or not we can maintain perspective and execute our long-term plans.

Founded in 1889 and headquartered in Sparks, Maryland, McCormick (MKC) is a leading maker of spices, seasonings, flavorings, and other specialty food products.

The consensus estimate of 11 analysts calls for the company to earn about $3.70 per share for the fiscal year that ends in November and to net about $4.06 in fiscal year 2017, compared with $3.48 in fiscal year 2015.

The dividend was just raised for the 30th consecutive year and provides a yield of 2.0%.

What's attractive about McCormick is its resistance to economic cycles and strong brand names that generate consistently growing sales, both here and abroad, from consumer kitchens to restaurant and industrial settings.

At a time of stock market uncertainty, McCormick is fresh off a banner year, suggesting that its shares will perform well in the short- and long-term, as they have in the past.

Fashions may change, but taste buds will continue to crave the spices and seasonings that this company produces, as evidenced by the prominent positions that its products command in stores across the country.

Its long history of strong sales, earnings, and dividend growth is likely to be enhanced by strategic acquisitions and new product development over time.

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