Goldman Sachs Group Lowers Hershey (HSY) to Sell

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) was downgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a report issued on Tuesday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. They currently have a $101.00 price target on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group’s target price would indicate a potential downside of 7.28% from the company’s previous close.

Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on HSY. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, January 11th. Morgan Stanley cut shares of Hershey from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $124.00 price target on shares of Hershey and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $113.00 price target on shares of Hershey and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Finally, Berenberg Bank raised shares of Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $90.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, December 18th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. Hershey currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $112.89.

Shares of Hershey (NYSE HSY) traded up $0.64 on Tuesday, reaching $108.93. 1,509,700 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 946,473. The stock has a market cap of $22,813.24, a PE ratio of 32.42, a P/E/G ratio of 2.71 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a quick ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45. Hershey has a fifty-two week low of $101.61 and a fifty-two week high of $116.49.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $2.03 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.01 billion. Hershey had a net margin of 9.52% and a return on equity of 124.06%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.29 EPS. analysts predict that Hershey will post 4.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Hershey announced that its board has approved a stock buyback program on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $100.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are generally an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 15,517 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.18, for a total value of $1,678,629.06. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $114.95, for a total transaction of $45,980.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 164,097 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,862,950.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders sold 16,717 shares of company stock valued at $1,811,009. Corporate insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of HSY. WFG Advisors LP lifted its position in Hershey by 25.2% during the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 998 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after acquiring an additional 201 shares during the period. Sun Life Financial INC lifted its position in Hershey by 12,637.5% during the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,019 shares of the company’s stock valued at $109,000 after acquiring an additional 1,011 shares during the period. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. lifted its position in Hershey by 528.8% during the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 1,465 shares of the company’s stock valued at $166,000 after acquiring an additional 1,232 shares during the period. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC purchased a new position in Hershey during the 3rd quarter valued at about $174,000. Finally, Douglas Lane & Associates LLC purchased a new position in Hershey during the 3rd quarter valued at about $202,000. 51.26% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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