Hershey Co (HSY) Receives Average Recommendation of “Hold” from Brokerages

Shares of Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) have earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the twenty research firms that are covering the stock, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Five investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The average twelve-month price objective among analysts that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $101.50.

A number of brokerages have commented on HSY. Credit Suisse Group downgraded shares of Hershey from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and dropped their price objective for the company from $90.00 to $80.00 in a research report on Wednesday, June 13th. Morgan Stanley increased their price objective on shares of Hershey from $93.00 to $98.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies increased their price objective on shares of Hershey from $97.00 to $100.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $106.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 15th.

Hershey stock opened at $105.97 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $22.18 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.26, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.26 and a beta of 0.32. Hershey has a 52-week low of $89.10 and a 52-week high of $115.82. The company has a current ratio of 0.94, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.05.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.10 by $0.04. Hershey had a net margin of 13.40% and a return on equity of 108.82%. The company had revenue of $1.75 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.74 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm posted $1.09 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. equities analysts expect that Hershey will post 5.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 14th. Investors of record on Friday, August 24th were given a $0.722 dividend. This represents a $2.89 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.73%. This is an increase from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 23rd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 60.71%.

In related news, insider Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, August 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.90, for a total value of $152,850.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 173,894 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,719,798.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, SVP Kevin R. Walling sold 30,835 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.18, for a total transaction of $3,119,885.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 57,611 shares in the company, valued at $5,829,080.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 33,835 shares of company stock worth $3,411,125 over the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of HSY. CIBC Asset Management Inc boosted its stake in Hershey by 2.9% during the 2nd quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 18,971 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,765,000 after purchasing an additional 541 shares during the period. Domani Wealth LLC boosted its stake in Hershey by 9.0% during the 2nd quarter. Domani Wealth LLC now owns 6,652 shares of the company’s stock worth $619,000 after purchasing an additional 551 shares during the period. CENTRAL TRUST Co boosted its stake in Hershey by 4.6% during the 2nd quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 13,461 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,253,000 after purchasing an additional 598 shares during the period. FTB Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Hershey by 108.4% during the 2nd quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 1,167 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 607 shares during the period. Finally, HL Financial Services LLC boosted its stake in Hershey by 2.4% during the 2nd quarter. HL Financial Services LLC now owns 27,736 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,581,000 after purchasing an additional 652 shares during the period. 52.70% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Hershey Company Profile

The Hershey Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells confectionery products. The company operates through two segments, North America; and International and Other. It offers chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products comprising mints, chewing gums, and bubble gums; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings, beverages, and sundae syrups; and snack items, including spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites, mixes, popcorn and protein bars, and cookies.

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Analyst Recommendations for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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