Van ECK Associates Corp grew its position in shares of Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 110.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 383,935 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 201,510 shares during the period. Van ECK Associates Corp owned approximately 0.18% of Hershey worth $35,729,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

A number of other large investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the business. CIBC Asset Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 2.9% in the second quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 18,971 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,765,000 after acquiring an additional 541 shares in the last quarter. Domani Wealth LLC raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 9.0% in the second quarter. Domani Wealth LLC now owns 6,652 shares of the company’s stock valued at $619,000 after acquiring an additional 551 shares in the last quarter. Nicholas Hoffman & Company LLC. raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 25.1% in the first quarter. Nicholas Hoffman & Company LLC. now owns 2,890 shares of the company’s stock valued at $286,000 after acquiring an additional 580 shares in the last quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 4.6% in the second quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 13,461 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,253,000 after acquiring an additional 598 shares in the last quarter. Finally, FTB Advisors Inc. raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 108.4% in the second quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 1,167 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,000 after acquiring an additional 607 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 52.68% of the company’s stock.

NYSE:HSY opened at $104.24 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $21.53 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.90, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 0.32. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.05, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a current ratio of 0.94. Hershey Co has a 12 month low of $89.10 and a 12 month high of $115.82.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $1.14 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.10 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $1.75 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.74 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 108.82% and a net margin of 13.40%. Hershey’s revenue for the quarter was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.09 earnings per share. analysts predict that Hershey Co will post 5.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 24th will be issued a dividend of $0.722 per share. This is a positive change from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 23rd. This represents a $2.89 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.77%. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 60.71%.

In related news, SVP Kevin R. Walling sold 30,835 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $101.18, for a total transaction of $3,119,885.30. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 57,611 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,829,080.98. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $92.26, for a total value of $138,390.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 175,394 shares in the company, valued at approximately $16,181,850.44. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 33,835 shares of company stock worth $3,411,125. Corporate insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

Several analysts have recently issued reports on HSY shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $106.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, June 27th. Consumer Edge cut Hershey from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, July 9th. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $100.00 price objective on Hershey and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 29th. ValuEngine upgraded Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 15th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on Hershey from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $102.35.

Hershey Company Profile

The Hershey Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells confectionery products. The company operates through two segments, North America; and International and Other. It offers chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products comprising mints, chewing gums, and bubble gums; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings, beverages, and sundae syrups; and snack items, including spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites, mixes, popcorn and protein bars, and cookies.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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