Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) shares traded up 2.1% on Friday . The stock traded as high as $110.41 and last traded at $110.38, with a volume of 1,044,814 shares trading hands. The stock had previously closed at $108.09.

A number of research firms have recently commented on HSY. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating and set a $99.00 price objective (up previously from $89.00) on shares of Hershey in a research note on Friday. Argus downgraded shares of Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and upped their price objective for the company from $97.14 to $111.95 in a research note on Tuesday, July 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Hershey in a research note on Tuesday, April 26th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Monday, May 2nd. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Hershey in a research note on Saturday, July 2nd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $97.17.

The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $100.26 and its 200 day moving average price is $92.75. The firm has a market cap of $23.61 billion and a P/E ratio of 48.79.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, April 26th. The company reported $1.10 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.07 by $0.03. During the same period last year, the business earned $1.09 earnings per share. The firm had revenue of $1.83 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.91 billion. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was down 5.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities research analysts anticipate that Hershey Co. will post $4.25 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, May 25th were paid a dividend of $0.583 per share. This represents a $2.33 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, May 23rd.

In other news, SVP Kevin R. Walling sold 13,568 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, June 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.12, for a total transaction of $1,304,156.16. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 43,783 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,208,421.96. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, COO Michele Buck sold 10,369 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.47, for a total value of $1,000,297.43. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 165,579 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $15,973,406.13. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors recently modified their holdings of the stock. Garcia Hamilton & Associates LP DE raised its position in shares of Hershey by 1.6% in the fourth quarter. Garcia Hamilton & Associates LP DE now owns 31,273 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,792,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. raised its position in shares of Hershey by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. now owns 26,348 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,352,000 after buying an additional 677 shares in the last quarter. Stack Financial Management Inc raised its position in shares of Hershey by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Stack Financial Management Inc now owns 131,255 shares of the company’s stock worth $11,717,000 after buying an additional 740 shares in the last quarter. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. raised its position in shares of Hershey by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Mizuho Trust & Banking Co. Ltd. now owns 229,943 shares of the company’s stock worth $20,833,000 after buying an additional 944 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Suntrust Banks Inc. raised its position in shares of Hershey by 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Suntrust Banks Inc. now owns 39,325 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,508,000 after buying an additional 981 shares in the last quarter.

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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