Hershey (HSY) Hits New 1-Year Low at $98.50

Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY)’s share price reached a new 52-week low on Thursday . The stock traded as low as $98.50 and last traded at $98.42, with a volume of 738663 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $99.04.

HSY has been the topic of several recent research reports. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $124.00 target price on shares of Hershey and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $128.00 target price on the stock in a report on Friday, December 29th. Citigroup lifted their target price on shares of Hershey from $126.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Argus reduced their target price on shares of Hershey from $125.00 to $120.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Barclays reduced their target price on shares of Hershey from $110.00 to $107.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $111.43.

The stock has a market cap of $20,710.00, a P/E ratio of 28.72, a PEG ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.21, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.60.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $1.03 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by ($0.03). Hershey had a return on equity of 116.74% and a net margin of 10.42%. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.96 billion. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.17 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts expect that Hershey Co will post 5.36 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be given a $0.656 dividend. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 22nd. Hershey’s payout ratio is currently 75.50%.

Hershey announced that its board has authorized a stock buyback program on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $100.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

In other news, CEO Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, January 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.55, for a total value of $44,620.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 163,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,260,400.35. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP D Michael Wege sold 15,517 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.18, for a total transaction of $1,678,629.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 16,717 shares of company stock valued at $1,812,429 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Suntrust Banks Inc. grew its position in shares of Hershey by 4.4% during the 4th quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 28,406 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,222,000 after buying an additional 1,207 shares during the last quarter. Norinchukin Bank The grew its position in shares of Hershey by 5.3% during the 4th quarter. Norinchukin Bank The now owns 133,221 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,122,000 after buying an additional 6,761 shares during the last quarter. American International Group Inc. grew its position in shares of Hershey by 272.9% during the 4th quarter. American International Group Inc. now owns 157,120 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,835,000 after buying an additional 114,989 shares during the last quarter. Arrowstreet Capital Limited Partnership bought a new stake in shares of Hershey during the 4th quarter valued at about $10,553,000. Finally, Centaurus Financial Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Hershey during the 4th quarter valued at about $423,000. 51.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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About Hershey

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.

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