The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) Receives Average Recommendation of “Buy” from Analysts

Shares of The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSYGet Rating) have been given a consensus rating of “Buy” by the sixteen analysts that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat reports. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The average 12-month target price among brokers that have issued ratings on the stock in the last year is $218.40.

HSY has been the topic of several recent research reports. Evercore ISI upped their price target on shares of Hershey from $200.00 to $215.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, February 4th. Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on shares of Hershey from $214.00 to $227.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, February 4th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on shares of Hershey from $190.00 to $200.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, February 4th. Bank of America upped their price target on shares of Hershey from $220.00 to $225.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, February 4th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price target on shares of Hershey from $191.00 to $207.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, February 4th.

HSY stock opened at $212.61 on Friday. Hershey has a 12 month low of $167.80 and a 12 month high of $231.60. The firm’s 50-day moving average is $219.60 and its 200 day moving average is $203.13. The company has a market capitalization of $323.07 billion, a PE ratio of 27.33, a P/E/G ratio of 3.32 and a beta of 0.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.40, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.56.

Hershey (NYSE:HSYGet Rating) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $2.53 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.10 by $0.43. The business had revenue of $2.67 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.49 billion. Hershey had a net margin of 17.29% and a return on equity of 61.65%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 16.1% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.92 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts forecast that Hershey will post 8.05 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 20th will be given a $0.901 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 19th. This represents a $3.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.70%. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 46.27%.

In other news, SVP Jason Reiman sold 530 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, March 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $209.06, for a total value of $110,801.80. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Pamela M. Arway sold 255 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, April 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $221.95, for a total value of $56,597.25. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 15,690 shares in the company, valued at $3,482,395.50. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 11,760 shares of company stock worth $2,607,388 over the last ninety days. Corporate insiders own 0.34% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HSY. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Hershey during the fourth quarter worth $231,591,000. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its stake in Hershey by 2,693.0% during the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 1,094,755 shares of the company’s stock worth $237,156,000 after buying an additional 1,055,559 shares during the last quarter. Aaron Wealth Advisors LLC boosted its stake in Hershey by 21,654.4% during the first quarter. Aaron Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 1,030,942 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,759,000 after buying an additional 1,026,203 shares during the last quarter. American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in Hershey by 65.5% during the first quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,477,714 shares of the company’s stock worth $320,117,000 after buying an additional 584,624 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Allspring Global Investments Holdings LLC acquired a new position in Hershey during the fourth quarter worth $99,744,000. 52.96% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

About Hershey (Get Rating)

The Hershey Company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of confectionery products and pantry items in the United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments: North America Confectionery, North America Salty Snacks, and International. It offers chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products, including mints, chewing gums, and bubble gums; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings, beverages, and sundae syrups; and snack items comprising spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites, mixes, popcorn, and protein bars.

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