Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) declared a quarterly dividend on Thursday, February 1st, RTT News reports. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be given a dividend of 0.656 per share on Thursday, March 15th. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 22nd.
Hershey has raised its dividend by an average of 7.7% annually over the last three years and has raised its dividend annually for the last 8 consecutive years. Hershey has a dividend payout ratio of 54.6% indicating that its dividend is sufficiently covered by earnings. Equities research analysts expect Hershey to earn $5.69 per share next year, which means the company should continue to be able to cover its $2.62 annual dividend with an expected future payout ratio of 46.0%.
Hershey (HSY) opened at $99.90 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.21, a quick ratio of 0.60 and a current ratio of 0.96. The stock has a market cap of $21,216.37, a PE ratio of 21.16, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.17 and a beta of 0.26. Hershey has a one year low of $97.62 and a one year high of $116.49.
Hershey declared that its board has initiated 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. Stock buyback plans are often a sign that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
Several research firms have issued reports on HSY. JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on shares of Hershey in a research note on Wednesday, February 14th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $106.00 target price on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada restated a “hold” rating and set a $120.00 target price on shares of Hershey in a research note on Tuesday, January 30th. Argus lowered their target price on shares of Hershey from $125.00 to $120.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, February 6th. Morgan Stanley lowered shares of Hershey from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares set a $108.00 price target on shares of Hershey and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 17th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $111.44.
In related news, CEO Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on 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 directly 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 at this hyperlink. Insiders sold a total of 1,200 shares of company stock valued at $133,800 over the last three months. 0.92% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
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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.
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