Putnam FL Investment Management Co. reduced its holdings in shares of Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 28.7% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent filing with the SEC. The fund owned 3,342 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,347 shares during the period. Putnam FL Investment Management Co.’s holdings in Hershey were worth $379,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

Other hedge funds have also modified their holdings of the company. Calton & Associates Inc. bought a new stake in shares of Hershey during the 4th quarter worth approximately $108,000. WFG Advisors LP lifted its stake in shares of Hershey by 25.2% during the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 998 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after acquiring an additional 201 shares during the last quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Hershey by 528.8% during the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 1,465 shares of the company’s stock worth $166,000 after acquiring an additional 1,232 shares during the last quarter. Dupont Capital Management Corp bought a new stake in shares of Hershey during the 4th quarter worth approximately $169,000. Finally, Valeo Financial Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Hershey during the 3rd quarter worth approximately $174,000. 51.97% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 15,517 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction on Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.18, for a total value of $1,678,629.06. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction on Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total value of $43,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 164,497 shares in the company, valued at $17,765,676. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 16,717 shares of company stock worth $1,812,429 over the last 90 days. 0.92% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of brokerages recently issued reports on HSY. Morgan Stanley lowered Hershey from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note on Wednesday, January 10th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, January 11th. Citigroup raised their price target on Hershey from $126.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and set a $105.00 price target on shares of Hershey in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein set a $124.00 price target on Hershey and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 19th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the stock. Hershey currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $111.43.

Hershey Co (HSY) opened at $97.65 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $20,864.56, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.68, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.13 and a beta of 0.26. Hershey Co has a fifty-two week low of $97.62 and a fifty-two week high of $116.49. The company has a current ratio of 0.96, a quick ratio of 0.60 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.21.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.06 by ($0.03). The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.96 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 116.74% and a net margin of 10.42%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the business earned $1.17 earnings per share. equities analysts predict that Hershey Co will post 5.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Hershey declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be issued a dividend of $0.656 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 22nd. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.69%. Hershey’s payout ratio is currently 71.58%.

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Hershey Company Profile

The Hershey Company is a producer of chocolate in North America. The Company’s principal product offerings include chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products; pantry items, such as baking ingredients and beverages, and snack items, such as spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites and mixes.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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