Hershey Co (HSY) Expected to Post Quarterly Sales of $1.97 Billion

Equities analysts predict that Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) will report $1.97 billion in sales for the current fiscal quarter, according to Zacks Investment Research. Four analysts have made estimates for Hershey’s earnings, with estimates ranging from $1.95 billion to $1.99 billion. Hershey also posted sales of $1.97 billion during the same quarter last year. The company is scheduled to announce its next earnings report on Friday, February 2nd.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Hershey will report full year sales of $1.97 billion for the current year, with estimates ranging from $7.53 billion to $7.56 billion. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the firm will report sales of $7.65 billion per share, with estimates ranging from $7.61 billion to $7.69 billion. Zacks Investment Research’s sales averages are a mean average based on a survey of research analysts that follow Hershey.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $2.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.01 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 124.06% and a net margin of 9.52%. The business’s revenue was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.29 earnings per share.

HSY has been the topic of several research reports. Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded Hershey from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their target price for the company from $109.00 to $127.00 in a research note on Thursday, August 17th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $115.00 target price on Hershey and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Thursday, August 24th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $122.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. Citigroup boosted their target price on Hershey from $126.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, UBS lowered their target price on Hershey from $110.00 to $106.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hershey currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $113.35.

In related news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 15,517 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.18, for a total transaction of $1,678,629.06. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total value of $43,200.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 165,297 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,852,076. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 34,049 shares of company stock worth $3,715,013. 0.92% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of HSY. NGAM Advisors L.P. purchased a new position in Hershey during the second quarter worth about $1,082,000. Bessemer Group Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 19.1% in the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 2,123 shares of the company’s stock worth $228,000 after purchasing an additional 341 shares in the last quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC boosted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 11.8% in the 2nd quarter. Global X Management Co. LLC now owns 7,651 shares of the company’s stock worth $821,000 after purchasing an additional 808 shares in the last quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 13.5% in the 2nd quarter. Wetherby Asset Management Inc. now owns 3,220 shares of the company’s stock worth $346,000 after purchasing an additional 383 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. boosted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 6.0% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 463,696 shares of the company’s stock worth $49,788,000 after purchasing an additional 26,163 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 51.32% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Hershey (NYSE:HSY) opened at $113.16 on Thursday. The stock has a market capitalization of $23,889.75, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.08 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45, a current ratio of 0.95 and a quick ratio of 0.55. Hershey has a one year low of $98.85 and a one year high of $116.49.

Hershey announced that its board has initiated a share repurchase plan on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 22nd will be paid a dividend of $0.656 per share. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 21st. This represents a $2.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.32%. Hershey’s payout ratio is 77.98%.

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Hershey Company Profile

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.

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