Hershey Co (HSY) Expected to Post Earnings of $1.17 Per Share

Wall Street brokerages forecast that Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) will announce earnings of $1.17 per share for the current quarter, according to Zacks. Five analysts have provided estimates for Hershey’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $1.21 and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.12. Hershey reported earnings per share of $1.14 during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 2.6%. The company is expected to report its next earnings results on Thursday, July 25th.

On average, analysts expect that Hershey will report full-year earnings of $5.70 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.65 to $5.75. For the next year, analysts expect that the firm will post earnings of $5.99 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.87 to $6.08. Zacks Investment Research’s earnings per share calculations are a mean average based on a survey of research firms that that provide coverage for Hershey.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $1.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.48 by $0.11. The company had revenue of $2.02 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 90.64% and a net margin of 14.44%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.41 earnings per share.

A number of research firms have recently issued reports on HSY. Zacks Investment Research lowered Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. Credit Suisse Group increased their target price on Hershey from $123.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a “positive” rating in a report on Thursday, May 30th. UBS Group set a $100.00 target price on Hershey and gave the company a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Barclays increased their target price on Hershey from $103.00 to $120.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets increased their target price on Hershey from $93.00 to $108.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a report on Friday, April 26th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $113.91.

In other news, CFO Steven E. Voskuil acquired 1,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 31st. The stock was acquired at an average cost of $129.14 per share, for a total transaction of $129,140.00. Following the completion of the acquisition, the chief financial officer now owns 1,000 shares in the company, valued at $129,140. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director Anthony J. Palmer sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.43, for a total value of $652,150.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 10,014 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,306,126.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have purchased 3,100 shares of company stock valued at $401,990 and have sold 3,591,119 shares valued at $452,183,725. 0.41% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Bremer Trust National Association purchased a new stake in shares of Hershey during the fourth quarter worth $29,000. Claybrook Capital LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Hershey during the fourth quarter worth $29,000. Trustcore Financial Services LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Hershey during the first quarter worth $29,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund raised its holdings in shares of Hershey by 10,179.7% during the fourth quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 3,456,662 shares of the company’s stock worth $32,000 after acquiring an additional 3,423,036 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Acima Private Wealth LLC purchased a new stake in shares of Hershey during the fourth quarter worth $33,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 53.57% of the company’s stock.

HSY opened at $133.13 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $27.55 billion, a PE ratio of 24.84, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.90 and a beta of 0.11. Hershey has a 12-month low of $89.29 and a 12-month high of $133.57. The company has a quick ratio of 0.59, a current ratio of 0.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.27.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 14th. Investors of record on Friday, May 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.722 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, May 23rd. This represents a $2.89 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.17%. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is 53.92%.

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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