Hershey (HSY) Lifted to “Neutral” at Credit Suisse Group

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Credit Suisse Group from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, October 30th, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The firm presently has a $104.00 target price on the stock. Credit Suisse Group’s price target suggests a potential downside of 2.03% from the stock’s current price.

HSY has been the topic of several other research reports. Deutsche Bank set a $110.00 target price on Hershey and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, September 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $116.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, September 24th. Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Hershey from $93.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Stifel Nicolaus increased their target price on Hershey from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares increased their price target on Hershey from $109.00 to $114.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $103.81.

HSY traded down $0.32 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $106.16. 1,319,112 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,503,221. Hershey has a 1-year low of $89.10 and a 1-year high of $115.82. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.60. The firm has a market cap of $22.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 22.30, a PEG ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 0.17.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.55. Hershey had a return on equity of 102.30% and a net margin of 13.20%. The firm had revenue of $2.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.08 billion. On average, research analysts forecast that Hershey will post 5.37 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Hershey news, insider Todd W. Tillemans acquired 2,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 6th. The shares were acquired at an average price of $107.32 per share, for a total transaction of $214,640.00. Following the acquisition, the insider now owns 10,878 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,167,426.96. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.86, for a total value of $161,790.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 169,394 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,270,836.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 90,881 shares of company stock worth $9,579,554 in the last ninety days. 0.92% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. FTB Advisors Inc. grew 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 buying an additional 607 shares during the last quarter. Ffcm LLC grew its stake in Hershey by 35.1% during the 3rd quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 9,121 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 2,371 shares during the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA purchased a new position in Hershey during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $121,000. Fort L.P. purchased a new position in Hershey during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $123,000. Finally, Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Hershey during the 2nd quarter worth approximately $130,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 52.79% of the company’s stock.

About Hershey

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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