Traders bought shares of Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) on weakness during trading hours on Wednesday. $168.20 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $82.30 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $85.90 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Hershey had the 3rd highest net in-flow for the day. Hershey traded down ($1.26) for the day and closed at $109.29

Several research firms have recently issued reports on HSY. Zacks Investment Research lowered Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, April 4th. Bank of America Corp. lowered Hershey from a “buy” rating to an “underperform” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $95.00 to $92.00 in a research note on Wednesday, April 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and issued a $89.00 price objective on shares of Hershey in a research note on Saturday, July 2nd. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $102.00 price objective on shares of Hershey in a research note on Wednesday, June 15th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $93.00 price objective on shares of Hershey in a research note on Thursday, March 31st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $94.91.

The company has a market cap of $23.32 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 48.19. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $96.44 and its 200 day moving average price is $91.78.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.03. The company earned $1.83 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.91 billion. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $1.09 EPS. Analysts anticipate that Hershey Co. will post $4.25 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 25th were issued a $0.583 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, May 23rd. This represents a $2.33 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.13%.

In related news, CAO D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction on Friday, April 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $92.32, for a total transaction of $101,552.00. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 27,588 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,546,924.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Kevin R. Walling sold 13,568 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction on Monday, June 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $96.12, for a total transaction of $1,304,156.16. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 43,783 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,208,421.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other institutional investors have bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Hershey by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 8,404,140 shares of the company’s stock valued at $750,238,000 after buying an additional 109,532 shares during the last quarter. KBC Group raised its position in Hershey by 74.8% in the third quarter. KBC Group now owns 49,220 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,523,000 after buying an additional 21,056 shares during the last quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. raised its position in Hershey by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 39,325 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,508,000 after buying an additional 981 shares during the last quarter. World Asset Management Inc raised its position in Hershey by 2.2% in the fourth quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 15,835 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,414,000 after buying an additional 339 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Artemis Investment Management LLP acquired a new position in Hershey during the fourth quarter valued at $5,357,000.

The Hershey Company is a producer of chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery. The Company’s principal confectionery offerings include gum and mint refreshment products; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings and beverages, and snack items, such as spreads, meat snacks, bars, and snack bites and mixes.

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