Boston Advisors LLC Reduces Position in Hershey Co (HSY)

Boston Advisors LLC lowered its position in shares of Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 5.7% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 15,183 shares of the company’s stock after selling 925 shares during the period. Boston Advisors LLC’s holdings in Hershey were worth $1,723,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Janus Henderson Group PLC raised its holdings in shares of Hershey by 19,853.3% in the second quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 3,786,147 shares of the company’s stock valued at $406,519,000 after buying an additional 3,767,172 shares during the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. raised its holdings in shares of Hershey by 417.5% in the third quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 1,297,179 shares of the company’s stock valued at $141,613,000 after buying an additional 1,046,500 shares during the last quarter. Evercore Trust Company N.A. purchased a new position in Hershey during the third quarter worth about $105,956,000. Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new position in Hershey during the second quarter worth about $614,000. Finally, Troy Asset Management Ltd purchased a new position in Hershey during the third quarter worth about $66,396,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 51.76% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Hershey Co (NYSE HSY) opened at $99.78 on Tuesday. Hershey Co has a one year low of $97.62 and a one year high of $116.49. The stock has a market cap of $20,997.28, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.26, a P/E/G ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 0.26. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.21.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings results 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). The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.96 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 116.74% and a net margin of 10.42%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the firm earned $1.17 EPS. analysts expect that Hershey Co will post 5.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be issued a dividend of $0.656 per share. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 22nd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is currently 71.58%.

Hershey declared that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, October 26th that permits the company to buyback $100.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization permits the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

HSY has been the subject of several analyst reports. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $124.00 price target on shares of Hershey and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $128.00 target price for the company in a report on Friday, December 29th. Citigroup increased their price target on shares of Hershey from $126.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Argus lowered their price target on shares of Hershey from $125.00 to $120.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Finally, Barclays lowered their price target on shares of Hershey from $110.00 to $107.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Four 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 company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $111.43.

In other news, CEO Michele Buck sold 400 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, 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 document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Insiders sold a total of 1,200 shares of company stock valued at $133,800 over the last ninety days. Company insiders own 0.92% 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.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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