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

A number of research analysts recently commented on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday. BMO Capital Markets restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Hershey in a research report on Friday, July 29th. RBC Capital Markets restated a “sector perform” rating and issued a $105.00 price target (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Hershey in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Royal Bank Of Canada decreased their price objective on shares of Hershey from $105.00 to $92.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG decreased their price objective on shares of Hershey from $105.00 to $91.00 and set a “hold” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $99.16.

The firm has a 50 day moving average price of $106.44 and a 200-day moving average price of $95.08. The firm has a market capitalization of $23.75 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 32.62.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.07. The firm earned $1.64 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.61 billion. The business’s revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $0.78 EPS. On average, analysts predict that Hershey Co. will post $4.26 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 25th will be issued a $0.618 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 23rd. This represents a $2.47 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.23%. This is a positive change from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58.

In other news, CAO D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $92.26, for a total transaction of $101,486.00. Following the transaction, the chief accounting officer now owns 27,488 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,536,042.88. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP Kevin R. Walling sold 13,568 shares of the business’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 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.

Several hedge funds and institutional investors recently bought and sold shares of the company. KBC Group increased 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. Wells Fargo & Company MN increased its position in Hershey by 31.3% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 706,916 shares of the company’s stock valued at $63,106,000 after buying an additional 168,442 shares during the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Hershey by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 212,557 shares of the company’s stock valued at $18,975,000 after buying an additional 5,219 shares during the last quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK increased its position in Hershey by 17.6% in the fourth quarter. Aberdeen Asset Management PLC UK now owns 33,423 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,206,000 after buying an additional 5,006 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mitsubishi UFJ Kokusai Asset Management CO. LTD. increased its position 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 valued at $1,779,000 after buying an additional 1,217 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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