LS Investment Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) by 3.6% during the second quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 17,747 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 617 shares during the period. LS Investment Advisors LLC’s holdings in Hershey were worth $2,014,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. IFP Advisors Inc boosted its position in shares of Hershey by 9.6% in the first quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 2,531 shares of the company’s stock valued at $233,000 after buying an additional 222 shares in the last quarter. Pacad Investment Ltd. acquired a new stake in Hershey during the first quarter worth approximately $405,000. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in Hershey by 17.7% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 562,083 shares of the company’s stock worth $51,762,000 after buying an additional 84,564 shares during the period. Teachers Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in Hershey by 13.4% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 149,726 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,788,000 after buying an additional 17,672 shares during the period. Finally, BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in Hershey by 14.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 1,646,852 shares of the company’s stock worth $151,658,000 after buying an additional 210,412 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 53.11% of the company’s stock.

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

Shares of Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) traded up 0.11% during trading on Friday, hitting $95.21. The stock had a trading volume of 1,231,371 shares. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $99.65 and its 200-day moving average is $99.07. Hershey Co. has a 12-month low of $82.42 and a 12-month high of $117.79. The company has a market cap of $20.30 billion, a PE ratio of 27.88 and a beta of 0.23.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.07. The business earned $1.64 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.61 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 100.78% and a net margin of 10.14%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.78 EPS. Analysts forecast that Hershey Co. will post $4.26 earnings per share for the current year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 25th were issued a $0.618 dividend. This is a boost from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. This represents a $2.47 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.60%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 23rd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 72.22%.

HSY has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Bank of America Corp. initiated coverage on Hershey in a research report on Tuesday, August 30th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $100.00 price objective for the company. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $99.00 price objective (up from $89.00) on shares of Hershey in a research report on Friday, July 15th. Vetr upgraded Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $110.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Thursday, September 8th. S&P Equity Research upgraded Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $94.00 to $126.00 in a research report on Tuesday, July 5th. Finally, Royal Bank Of Canada cut their price objective on Hershey from $105.00 to $92.00 and set a “sector perform” rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $100.50.

In related news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.41, for a total value of $122,551.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,188 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,029,015.08. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. 0.68% of the stock is owned by insiders.

About Hershey

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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:HSY

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