Hershey (HSY) Lifted to “Hold” at Berenberg Bank

Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Hershey (NYSE:HSY) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Monday morning, MarketBeat reports. Berenberg Bank currently has $90.00 price target on the stock.

Several other analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $113.00 price objective on shares of Hershey and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Monday. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Hershey from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Monday, October 30th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a hold rating and issued a $105.00 price objective on shares of Hershey in a research report on Friday, October 27th. UBS cut their price objective on shares of Hershey from $110.00 to $106.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Citigroup lifted their price objective on shares of Hershey from $126.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. Hershey currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $113.15.

Hershey (NYSE HSY) opened at $114.99 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45, a current ratio of 0.95 and a quick ratio of 0.55. Hershey has a 52-week low of $101.61 and a 52-week high of $116.49. The stock has a market cap of $24,321.62, a PE ratio of 23.56, a PEG ratio of 3.14 and a beta of 0.39.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $2.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.01 billion. Hershey had a net margin of 9.52% and a return on equity of 124.06%. Hershey’s quarterly revenue was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.29 EPS. research analysts anticipate that Hershey will post 4.8 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 22nd were paid a dividend of $0.656 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 21st. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.28%. Hershey’s payout ratio is 77.98%.

Hershey declared that its board has approved a stock buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.26, for a total value of $121,286.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total transaction of $43,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 165,297 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,852,076. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 32,949 shares of company stock worth $3,594,640. 0.92% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in HSY. WFG Advisors LP grew its stake in shares of Hershey by 25.2% in the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 998 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after purchasing an additional 201 shares during the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC grew its stake in shares of Hershey by 12,637.5% in the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,019 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after purchasing an additional 1,011 shares during the last quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY grew its stake in shares of Hershey by 10.8% in the 2nd quarter. QCI Asset Management Inc. NY now owns 1,024 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,000 after purchasing an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Fiduciary Trust Co. acquired a new position in shares of Hershey in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $125,000. Finally, Dupont Capital Management Corp acquired a new position in shares of Hershey in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $174,000. 51.24% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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Hershey Company Profile

The Hershey Company is a producer of chocolate in North America. The Company’s principal product offerings include chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products; pantry items, such as baking ingredients and beverages, and snack items, such as spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites and mixes.

Analyst Recommendations for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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