Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) has earned a consensus rating of “Hold” from the eighteen research firms that are currently covering the firm, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, twelve have issued a hold recommendation and two have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average 12 month price objective among analysts that have updated their coverage on the stock in the last year is $102.73.

HSY has been the subject of several research analyst reports. Deutsche Bank set a $110.00 price objective on Hershey and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, September 14th. Zacks Investment Research raised Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $116.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, September 24th. Credit Suisse Group raised Hershey from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $104.00 price target for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 30th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price target on Hershey from $93.00 to $98.00 and gave the company an “underweight” rating in a report on Friday, July 27th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price target on Hershey from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 27th.

Shares of HSY traded up $1.51 during trading hours on Monday, hitting $108.58. The stock had a trading volume of 1,659,250 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,346,017. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.60, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 0.69. Hershey has a 12 month low of $89.10 and a 12 month high of $115.82. The firm has a market capitalization of $22.66 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.81, a PEG ratio of 2.37 and a beta of 0.17.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.55 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.55. Hershey had a return on equity of 102.30% and a net margin of 13.20%. The company had revenue of $2.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.08 billion. Analysts expect that Hershey will post 5.37 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 14th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 21st will be issued a dividend of $0.722 per share. This represents a $2.89 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 20th. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is presently 60.71%.

In other news, CFO Patricia A. Little sold 17,589 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.00, for a total value of $1,811,667.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now directly owns 37,086 shares in the company, valued at $3,819,858. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Kevin R. Walling sold 30,835 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.18, for a total value of $3,119,885.30. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 57,611 shares in the company, valued at $5,829,080.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold 121,716 shares of company stock worth $12,690,499 over the last 90 days. Company insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in HSY. Hamel Associates Inc. lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 17.5% in the third quarter. Hamel Associates Inc. now owns 3,525 shares of the company’s stock worth $360,000 after buying an additional 525 shares in the last quarter. First National Trust Co lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 8.5% in the third quarter. First National Trust Co now owns 6,756 shares of the company’s stock worth $689,000 after buying an additional 529 shares in the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc lifted its position 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 worth $1,765,000 after buying an additional 541 shares in the last quarter. Domani Wealth LLC lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 9.0% in the second quarter. Domani Wealth LLC now owns 6,652 shares of the company’s stock worth $619,000 after buying an additional 551 shares in the last quarter. Finally, CENTRAL TRUST Co lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 4.6% in the second quarter. CENTRAL TRUST Co now owns 13,461 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,253,000 after buying an additional 598 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 52.73% of the company’s stock.

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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Analyst Recommendations for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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