Hershey (HSY) Stock Rating Upgraded by ValuEngine

ValuEngine upgraded shares of Hershey (NYSE:HSY) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Wednesday morning.

Other equities analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $100.00 price target on Hershey and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, August 29th. Zacks Investment Research cut Hershey from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 4th. Susquehanna Bancshares boosted their price target on Hershey from $109.00 to $114.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Credit Suisse Group set a $85.00 price target on Hershey and gave the stock a sell rating in a report on Wednesday, August 29th. Finally, Deutsche Bank set a $110.00 target price on Hershey and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, September 14th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $103.81.

NYSE HSY opened at $107.87 on Wednesday. Hershey has a fifty-two week low of $89.10 and a fifty-two week high of $115.82. The firm has a market capitalization of $22.62 billion, a PE ratio of 22.66, a P/E/G ratio of 2.36 and a beta of 0.18. The company has a quick ratio of 0.69, a current ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.60.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.55 earnings per share for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.55. Hershey had a return on equity of 102.30% and a net margin of 13.20%. The company had revenue of $2.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.08 billion. As a group, research analysts predict that Hershey will post 5.37 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, December 14th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 21st were paid a $0.722 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, November 20th. This represents a $2.89 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.68%. Hershey’s payout ratio is currently 60.71%.

In other Hershey news, insider Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.86, for a total transaction of $161,790.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 169,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,270,836.84. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, CFO Patricia A. Little sold 17,589 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.00, for a total value of $1,811,667.00. Following the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 37,086 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,819,858. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 90,881 shares of company stock valued at $9,579,554 over the last quarter. Insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of HSY. FMR LLC grew its position in Hershey by 42.5% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,089,056 shares of the company’s stock valued at $473,587,000 after acquiring an additional 1,518,053 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in Hershey by 11.5% during the third quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,694,041 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,294,795,000 after acquiring an additional 1,311,392 shares during the period. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its position in Hershey by 51.2% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 1,998,325 shares of the company’s stock valued at $203,829,000 after acquiring an additional 676,300 shares during the period. American Century Companies Inc. grew its position in Hershey by 78.9% during the third quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 1,316,025 shares of the company’s stock valued at $134,235,000 after acquiring an additional 580,206 shares during the period. Finally, Mawer Investment Management Ltd. purchased a new stake in Hershey during the second quarter valued at about $41,355,000. 52.10% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About Hershey

The Hershey Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells confectionery products. The company operates through two segments, North America; and International and Other. It offers chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products comprising mints, chewing gums, and bubble gums; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings, beverages, and sundae syrups; and snack items, including spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites, mixes, popcorn and protein bars, and cookies.

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Analyst Recommendations for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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