Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 6.3% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 23,333 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 1,385 shares during the period. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management Co. Ltd.’s holdings in Hershey were worth $2,605,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. WFG Advisors LP raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 25.2% during the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 998 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 201 shares in the last quarter. Rodgers Brothers Inc. raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 5.6% during the 3rd quarter. Rodgers Brothers Inc. now owns 8,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $972,000 after buying an additional 475 shares in the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 2.6% during the 3rd quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 19,288 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,106,000 after buying an additional 495 shares in the last quarter. Fernwood Investment Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 10.6% during the 3rd quarter. Fernwood Investment Management LLC now owns 5,225 shares of the company’s stock worth $570,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Palo Capital Inc. raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 6.9% during the 4th quarter. Palo Capital Inc. now owns 8,138 shares of the company’s stock worth $924,000 after buying an additional 522 shares in the last quarter. 51.97% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.
HSY has been the subject of a number of analyst reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $113.00 target price on Hershey and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Citigroup increased their target price on Hershey from $126.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $105.00 target price on shares of Hershey in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Morgan Stanley downgraded Hershey from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $111.43.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 by ($0.03). The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.96 billion. Hershey had a net margin of 10.42% and a return on equity of 116.74%. Hershey’s quarterly revenue was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.17 EPS. analysts expect that Hershey Co will post 5.36 earnings per share for the current year.
The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be issued a dividend of $0.656 per share. This represents a $2.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 22nd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 71.58%.
Hershey announced that its Board of Directors has approved 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 reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.
In other Hershey news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 15,517 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.18, for a total transaction of $1,678,629.06. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the stock in a transaction on Tuesday, December 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $114.95, for a total value of $45,980.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 164,097 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,862,950.15. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 16,717 shares of company stock worth $1,812,429. 0.92% of the stock is owned by insiders.
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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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