Private Advisor Group LLC lowered its stake in Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 29.9% in the fourth quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The fund owned 4,926 shares of the company’s stock after selling 2,101 shares during the quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC’s holdings in Hershey were worth $561,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds also recently bought and sold shares of the company. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 15.4% in the third quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,368,862 shares of the company’s stock worth $476,949,000 after acquiring an additional 582,715 shares during the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 45.4% in the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,885,679 shares of the company’s stock worth $178,251,000 after acquiring an additional 588,500 shares during the last quarter. Marathon Asset Management LLP lifted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 39.2% in the fourth quarter. Marathon Asset Management LLP now owns 1,694,259 shares of the company’s stock worth $192,322,000 after acquiring an additional 477,539 shares during the last quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 106.0% in the third quarter. First Eagle Investment Management LLC now owns 1,115,299 shares of the company’s stock worth $121,757,000 after acquiring an additional 573,799 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Evercore Trust Company N.A. bought a new position in shares of Hershey in the third quarter worth about $105,956,000. 52.54% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
A number of research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, January 11th. Morgan Stanley cut shares of Hershey from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 10th. Citigroup increased their target price on shares of Hershey from $126.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on shares of Hershey in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $106.00 target price for the company. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $105.00 target price on shares of Hershey in a report on Friday, October 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $111.44.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings data 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 net margin of 10.42% and a return on equity of 116.74%. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.96 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.17 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. analysts expect that Hershey Co will post 5.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be paid a $0.656 dividend. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.71%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 22nd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is currently 71.58%.
In other Hershey 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 transaction 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 accessible through the SEC website. Insiders have sold a total of 1,200 shares of company stock valued at $133,800 in the last three months. Insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.
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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