Susquehanna Bancshares set a $108.00 price target on Hershey (NYSE:HSY) in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday. The firm currently has a hold rating on the stock.
Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on HSY. Zacks Investment Research cut Hershey from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 26th. Citigroup boosted their target price on Hershey from $126.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a hold rating and set a $105.00 target price on shares of Hershey in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Morgan Stanley cut Hershey from an equal weight rating to an underweight rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Berenberg Bank upgraded Hershey from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $90.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, December 18th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company. Hershey currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $112.89.
Hershey (HSY) traded up $1.58 during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $109.37. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 1,045,860 shares, compared to its average volume of 665,114. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45, a current ratio of 0.95 and a quick ratio of 0.55. Hershey has a 52 week low of $101.61 and a 52 week high of $116.49. The firm has a market cap of $22,707.90, a PE ratio of 32.55, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.70 and a beta of 0.38.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.04. Hershey had a return on equity of 124.06% and a net margin of 9.52%. The company had revenue of $2.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.01 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $1.29 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. research analysts predict that Hershey will post 4.8 earnings per share for the current year.
Hershey announced that its board has authorized a share repurchase program on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to repurchase $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.
In related news, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total value of $43,200.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 164,897 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,808,876. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, SVP D Michael Wege sold 15,517 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.18, for a total value of $1,678,629.06. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders sold 16,717 shares of company stock worth $1,811,009. Insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.
A number of hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Hershey by 2.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 9,545,096 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,024,857,000 after buying an additional 260,072 shares in the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its stake in Hershey by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,270,169 shares of the company’s stock valued at $673,225,000 after buying an additional 75,548 shares in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its stake in Hershey by 15.4% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,368,862 shares of the company’s stock valued at $476,949,000 after buying an additional 582,715 shares in the last quarter. Northern Trust Corp lifted its stake in Hershey by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,825,282 shares of the company’s stock valued at $195,980,000 after buying an additional 5,796 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Renaissance Technologies LLC lifted its stake in Hershey by 60.3% in the 2nd quarter. Renaissance Technologies LLC now owns 1,699,400 shares of the company’s stock valued at $182,465,000 after buying an additional 639,400 shares in the last quarter. 51.26% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
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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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