Hershey (HSY) Research Coverage Started at JPMorgan Chase & Co.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on shares of Hershey (NYSE:HSY) in a report released on Wednesday, MarketBeat.com reports. The firm issued a neutral rating and a $106.00 target price on the stock.

HSY has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Royal Bank of Canada restated a hold rating and issued a $122.00 price objective on shares of Hershey in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Hershey from a neutral rating to a sell rating and set a $101.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, January 16th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Hershey from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. UBS Group dropped their price objective on Hershey from $110.00 to $106.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Berenberg Bank upgraded Hershey from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $90.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, December 18th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. Hershey has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $111.44.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) opened at $100.71 on Wednesday. Hershey has a twelve month low of $97.62 and a twelve month high of $116.49. The company has a market capitalization of $21,233.23, a P/E ratio of 27.52, a P/E/G ratio of 2.17 and a beta of 0.26. The company has a quick ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.21.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.06 by ($0.03). Hershey had a return on equity of 116.74% and a net margin of 10.42%. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.96 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.17 EPS. The company’s quarterly revenue was down 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. analysts expect that Hershey will post 5.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Hershey declared that its Board of Directors has approved a stock 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 usually an indication that the company’s leadership believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently declared 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. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 22nd. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.61%. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 71.58%.

In other Hershey news, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total transaction of $43,200.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 164,497 shares in the company, valued at $17,765,676. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 1,200 shares of company stock worth $133,800. Corporate insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the business. WFG Advisors LP grew its holdings in Hershey by 25.2% during the second quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 998 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after purchasing an additional 201 shares during the last quarter. Rodgers Brothers Inc. boosted its position in shares of Hershey by 5.6% in the third quarter. Rodgers Brothers Inc. now owns 8,900 shares of the company’s stock valued at $972,000 after acquiring an additional 475 shares during the period. CIBC Asset Management Inc boosted its position in shares of Hershey by 2.6% in the third quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 19,288 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,106,000 after acquiring an additional 495 shares during the period. Fernwood Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Hershey by 10.6% in the third quarter. Fernwood Investment Management LLC now owns 5,225 shares of the company’s stock valued at $570,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares during the period. Finally, Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Hershey by 3.8% in the fourth quarter. Meadow Creek Investment Management LLC now owns 13,770 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,563,000 after acquiring an additional 510 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 51.76% of the company’s stock.

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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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