Hershey (HSY) Raised to “Buy” at ValuEngine

ValuEngine upgraded shares of Hershey (NYSE:HSY) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Thursday morning, ValuEngine reports.

Separately, Zacks Investment Research cut Hershey from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, April 2nd. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and two have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hershey currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $105.18.

Shares of HSY stock traded up $3.47 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $125.91. 49,922 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,127,739. Hershey has a 12-month low of $89.10 and a 12-month high of $124.63. The company has a quick ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 0.93 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.31. The stock has a market cap of $24.37 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.50, a PEG ratio of 2.44 and a beta of 0.15.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $1.59 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.48 by $0.11. Hershey had a return on equity of 95.97% and a net margin of 15.11%. The company had revenue of $2.02 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the firm earned $1.41 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 2.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts expect that Hershey will post 5.64 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 24th will be given a dividend of $0.722 per share. This represents a $2.89 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.29%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 23rd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is currently 53.92%.

In other Hershey news, CEO Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, April 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $117.00, for a total value of $175,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 161,429 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,887,193. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Also, VP Javier H. Idrovo sold 4,873 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.00, for a total value of $536,030.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 21,436 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,357,960. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last three months, insiders have sold 41,793 shares of company stock worth $4,662,700. Corporate insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Raymond James & Associates increased its holdings in shares of Hershey by 26.1% in the fourth quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 56,621 shares of the company’s stock valued at $6,069,000 after purchasing an additional 11,702 shares during the period. Gotham Asset Management LLC grew its holdings in Hershey by 453.3% during the fourth quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 92,780 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,944,000 after acquiring an additional 76,011 shares during the period. Captrust Financial Advisors grew its holdings in Hershey by 126.1% during the fourth quarter. Captrust Financial Advisors now owns 848 shares of the company’s stock worth $91,000 after acquiring an additional 473 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its holdings in Hershey by 5.5% during the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 156,085 shares of the company’s stock worth $16,729,000 after acquiring an additional 8,098 shares during the period. Finally, Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. grew its holdings in Hershey by 1.2% during the fourth quarter. Ipswich Investment Management Co. Inc. now owns 10,245 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,098,000 after acquiring an additional 125 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 52.51% of the company’s stock.

Hershey Company Profile

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.

See Also: Return on Equity (ROE)

To view ValuEngine’s full report, visit ValuEngine’s official website.

Analyst Recommendations for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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