Shares of Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) fell 1.6% during trading on Wednesday . The stock traded as low as $109.95 and last traded at $110.35, with a volume of 487,031 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $112.17.

Several research firms recently commented on HSY. Argus downgraded shares of Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and upped their price target for the company from $97.14 to $111.95 in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reiterated a “neutral” rating and issued a $89.00 price target on shares of Hershey in a research report on Saturday, July 2nd. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Hershey in a research report on Saturday, July 2nd. S&P Equity Research upgraded shares of Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and upped their price target for the company from $94.00 to $126.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Hershey in a research report on Friday, July 29th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hershey currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $99.16.

The company’s 50 day moving average price is $106.02 and its 200 day moving average price is $94.96. The firm has a market cap of $23.55 billion and a PE ratio of 32.35.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.78 by $0.07. The company earned $1.64 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.61 billion. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business posted $0.78 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Hershey Co. will post $4.26 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 25th will be paid a $0.618 dividend. This represents a $2.47 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.24%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 23rd. This is a boost from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58.

In other Hershey news, COO Michele Buck sold 13,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.31, for a total value of $1,448,685.00. Following the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 168,710 shares in the company, valued at $18,104,270.10. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, July 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.43, for a total value of $119,273.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now owns 27,288 shares in the company, valued at $2,958,837.84. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of large investors recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. boosted its stake in Hershey by 6.5% in the fourth quarter. Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. now owns 19,929 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,779,000 after buying an additional 1,217 shares during the last quarter. Utah Retirement Systems boosted its stake in Hershey by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Utah Retirement Systems now owns 26,186 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,338,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. Cambridge Investment Research Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in 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 during the last quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in Hershey by 73.2% in the fourth quarter. Advisors Asset Management Inc. now owns 35,711 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,188,000 after buying an additional 15,093 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK boosted its stake in Hershey by 17.6% in the fourth quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK now owns 33,423 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,206,000 after buying an additional 5,006 shares during 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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