Shares of The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY – Get a rating) received a consensus “moderate buy” recommendation from the fifteen research firms that currently cover the stock, reports MarketBeat.com. Four analysts rated the stock with a hold recommendation and seven gave the company a buy recommendation. The 1-year average price target among brokerages that have issued ratings on the stock in the past year is $219.00.
Several equity analysts have recently weighed in on HSY shares. StockNews.com upgraded Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, May 7. BMO Capital Markets raised its price target on Hershey from $215.00 to $255.00 in a Friday, April 29 report. UBS Group assumed coverage for Hershey in a Wednesday, March 30, report. They issued a “neutral” rating and a price target of $226.00 on the stock. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft raised its price target on Hershey from $210.00 to $218.00 in a Friday, April 29 report. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada raised its price target on Hershey from $214.00 to $237.00 in a Friday, April 29 report.
Insider Activity at Hershey
In related news, please Jason Reiman sold 150 shares of the company in a transaction that took place on Monday, May 9. The stock was sold at an average price of $224.75, for a total value of $33,712.50. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 16,467 shares of the company, valued at $3,700,958.25. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, available at this hyperlink. In other Hershey CEO news Michele Buck sold 5,000 shares of the company in a transaction that took place on Monday, May 9. The stock was sold at an average price of $224.75, for a total value of $1,123,750.00. Following the sale, the CEO now owns 190,555 shares of the company, valued at $42,827,236.25. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, accessible via the SEC website. Also, please Jason Reiman sold 150 shares of the company in a transaction that took place on Monday, May 9. The shares were sold at an average price of $224.75, for a total value of $33,712.50. Following the completion of the sale, the Senior Vice President now directly owns 16,467 shares of the company, valued at approximately $3,700,958.25. Disclosure of this sale can be found here. In the past three months, insiders have sold 699,493 shares of the company worth $153,874,087. Insiders own 0.34% of the shares of the company.
Hershey Institutional Trading
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently increased or reduced their stake in the company. O Dell Group LLC increased its position in Hershey stock by 109.8% during the fourth quarter. O Dell Group LLC now owns 128 shares of the company worth $25,000 after acquiring 67 additional shares during the period. Zions Bancorporation NA increased its position in Hershey stock by 121.3% in the first quarter. Zions Bancorporation NA now owns 135 shares of the company worth $29,000 after acquiring an additional 74 shares during the period. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. increased its position in Hershey shares by 55.0% during the fourth quarter. Northern Oak Wealth Management Inc. now owns 155 shares of the company worth $30,000 after acquiring an additional 55 shares during the period. Addison Advisors LLC purchased a new stake in Hershey stock during the fourth quarter for $31,000. Finally, FSB Premier Wealth Management Inc. purchased a new equity stake in Hershey during the fourth quarter for $31,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors hold 52.96% of the company’s shares.
Hershey Price Performance
Hershey shares opened at $216.80 on Friday. The company’s 50-day simple moving average is $215.10 and its two-hundred-day simple moving average is $210.90. The stock has a market capitalization of $329.43 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.87, a price-to-earnings growth ratio of 3.54 and a beta of 0.33. Hershey’s has a one-year low of $167.80 and a one-year high of $231.60. The company has a debt ratio of 1.40, a current ratio of 0.96 and a quick ratio of 0.56.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY- Get a rating) last announced its quarterly results on Thursday, April 28. The company reported earnings per share of $2.53 for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.10 by $0.43. Hershey had a return on equity of 61.65% and a net margin of 17.29%. The company posted revenue of $2.67 billion in the quarter, versus analyst estimates of $2.49 billion. In the same quarter of the previous year, the company achieved EPS of $1.92. Hershey’s revenue for the quarter increased 16.1% from the same quarter last year. Analysts expect Hershey to post EPS of 8.03 for the current year.
Hershey announces dividend
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 15. Investors of record on Friday, May 20 received a dividend of $0.901. This represents a dividend of $3.60 on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.66%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 19. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is currently 46.27%.
Hershey Company Profile
The Hershey Company, together with its subsidiaries, is engaged in the manufacture and sale of confectionery and pantry products in the United States and abroad. The Company operates through three segments: Confectionery in North America, Savory Snacks in North America and International. It offers chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint based refreshments, including mints, chewing gums and chewing gums; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings, drinks, and sundae syrups; and snack foods including spreads, meat snacks, bars and snacks, mixes, popcorn and protein bars.
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