Shares of Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) were up 1.4% on Wednesday . The stock traded as high as $113.12 and last traded at $113.01, with a volume of 641,498 shares changing hands. The stock had previously closed at $111.50.

Several equities analysts have commented on the stock. Bank of America Corp. reissued a “sell” rating and set a $90.00 target price on shares of Hershey in a research note on Wednesday, May 11th. 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. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada lowered their price objective on shares of Hershey from $105.00 to $92.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Hershey in a research note on Tuesday, April 26th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Hershey presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $99.16.

The stock’s 50 day moving average price is $110.63 and its 200-day moving average price is $96.90. The firm has a market capitalization of $24.11 billion and a PE ratio of 33.11.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released 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. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.78 earnings per share. The business had revenue of $1.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.61 billion. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts predict that Hershey Co. will post $4.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 25th will be given a dividend of $0.618 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, August 23rd. This represents a $2.47 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.19%. This is a positive change from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58.

In other Hershey news, COO Michele Buck sold 13,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.31, for a total transaction of $1,448,685.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now directly owns 168,710 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,104,270.10. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.41, for a total transaction of $122,551.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 27,188 shares in the company, valued at $3,029,015.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Utah Retirement Systems increased its position 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. Principal Financial Group Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Hershey by 2.5% in the fourth quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 212,557 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,975,000 after buying an additional 5,219 shares during the period. Advisors Asset Management Inc. boosted its stake in shares of 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 period. Bridgewater Associates LP boosted its stake in shares of Hershey by 160.6% in the fourth quarter. Bridgewater Associates LP now owns 38,783 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,462,000 after buying an additional 23,900 shares during the period. Finally, BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA boosted its stake in shares of Hershey by 117.9% in the fourth quarter. BNP Paribas Arbitrage SA now owns 47,221 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,215,000 after buying an additional 25,550 shares during the period.

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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