Hershey (HSY) Stock Rating Lowered by Goldman Sachs Group

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) was downgraded by stock analysts at Goldman Sachs Group from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday.

HSY has been the subject of several other research reports. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and set a $122.00 price target on shares of Hershey in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $122.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Berenberg Bank raised shares of Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $90.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, December 18th. UBS Group reduced their price target on shares of Hershey from $110.00 to $106.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares set a $113.00 price target on shares of Hershey and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $114.02.

Hershey (NYSE HSY) opened at $109.27 on Tuesday. Hershey has a 1-year low of $101.61 and a 1-year high of $116.49. The stock has a market cap of $23,019.69, a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.52, a PEG ratio of 2.73 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a current ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.04. Hershey had a net margin of 9.52% and a return on equity of 124.06%. The company had revenue of $2.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.01 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.29 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. sell-side analysts expect that Hershey will post 4.8 EPS for the current year.

Hershey announced that its Board of Directors has authorized a share repurchase plan on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

In related news, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction dated Thursday, November 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total transaction of $43,200.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 164,897 shares in the company, valued at $17,808,876. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, SVP D Michael Wege sold 15,517 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The shares were 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. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 16,717 shares of company stock worth $1,811,009. Company insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of HSY. WFG Advisors LP raised its position in Hershey by 25.2% in the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 998 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after acquiring an additional 201 shares in the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC raised its position in Hershey by 12,637.5% in the second quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,019 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after acquiring an additional 1,011 shares in the last quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC bought a new stake in Hershey in the third quarter worth about $174,000. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC bought a new stake in Hershey in the third quarter worth about $202,000. Finally, E&G Advisors LP bought a new stake in Hershey in the third quarter worth about $218,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 51.26% of the company’s stock.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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