Hershey Co (HSY) Expected to Announce Earnings of $1.27 Per Share

Wall Street analysts forecast that Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) will announce earnings of $1.27 per share for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Five analysts have made estimates for Hershey’s earnings, with the lowest EPS estimate coming in at $1.24 and the highest estimate coming in at $1.31. Hershey reported earnings of $1.03 per share in the same quarter last year, which would suggest a positive year over year growth rate of 23.3%. The business is expected to issue its next earnings results on Thursday, February 7th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Hershey will report full-year earnings of $5.37 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.34 to $5.41. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the firm will post earnings of $5.66 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.51 to $5.76. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS calculations are an average based on a survey of analysts that follow Hershey.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its earnings results on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.55. Hershey had a net margin of 13.20% and a return on equity of 102.30%. The business had revenue of $2.08 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.08 billion.

HSY has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. ValuEngine raised shares of Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 15th. Credit Suisse Group set a $85.00 price target on shares of Hershey and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 29th. Susquehanna Bancshares upped their price target on shares of Hershey from $109.00 to $114.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 23rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $117.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 8th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $100.00 price target on shares of Hershey and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 29th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Hershey has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $103.81.

Shares of NYSE:HSY traded down $0.43 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $107.67. 2,744 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,372,814. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.60, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 0.69. The company has a market cap of $22.67 billion, a PE ratio of 22.60, a PEG ratio of 2.37 and a beta of 0.18. Hershey has a 12 month low of $89.10 and a 12 month high of $115.82.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 14th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 21st will be issued a $0.722 dividend. This represents a $2.89 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.68%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 20th. Hershey’s payout ratio is presently 60.71%.

In related news, insider Todd W. Tillemans acquired 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 6th. The stock was purchased at an average cost of $107.32 per share, with a total value of $214,640.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 10,878 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,167,426.96. The purchase was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.86, for a total transaction of $161,790.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 169,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,270,836.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 90,881 shares of company stock worth $9,579,554. Company insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of HSY. FTB Advisors Inc. lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 108.4% during the 2nd quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 1,167 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after buying an additional 607 shares in the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA acquired a new stake in shares of Hershey during the 2nd quarter worth about $121,000. Fort L.P. acquired a new stake in shares of Hershey during the 2nd quarter worth about $123,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Hershey during the 2nd quarter worth about $130,000. Finally, grace capital acquired a new position in Hershey in the 2nd quarter valued at about $130,000. 52.18% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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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