Zacks: Brokerages Expect Hershey Co (HSY) Will Post Earnings of $1.42 Per Share

Wall Street analysts forecast that Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) will report earnings of $1.42 per share for the current quarter, Zacks Investment Research reports. Four analysts have made estimates for Hershey’s earnings, with the highest EPS estimate coming in at $1.45 and the lowest estimate coming in at $1.35. Hershey posted earnings per share of $1.31 during the same quarter last year, which indicates a positive year over year growth rate of 8.4%. The business is expected to issue its next quarterly earnings report on Wednesday, April 25th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Hershey will report full year earnings of $5.36 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.35 to $5.38. For the next financial year, analysts anticipate that the business will post earnings of $5.70 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.55 to $5.82. Zacks’ earnings per share averages are an average based on a survey of research firms that follow Hershey.

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Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.06 by ($0.03). The company had revenue of $1.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.96 billion. Hershey had a net margin of 10.42% and a return on equity of 116.74%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.17 earnings per share.

A number of equities analysts have recently issued reports on the stock. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $128.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Friday, December 29th. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $124.00 target price on shares of Hershey and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 19th. Argus lowered their target price on shares of Hershey from $125.00 to $120.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, February 6th. Barclays lowered their target price on shares of Hershey from $110.00 to $107.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Berenberg Bank upgraded shares of Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $90.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, December 18th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $111.53.

In related news, CEO Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.55, for a total transaction of $44,620.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 163,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,260,400.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. 0.92% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of HSY. New York State Common Retirement Fund lifted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 20.1% during the third quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 455,858 shares of the company’s stock worth $49,766,000 after purchasing an additional 76,158 shares during the period. Russell Investments Group Ltd. lifted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 25.8% during the third quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 255,485 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,889,000 after purchasing an additional 52,335 shares during the period. Stephens Inc. AR acquired a new stake in shares of Hershey during the third quarter worth $320,000. NorthCoast Asset Management LLC lifted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 3,985.8% during the third quarter. NorthCoast Asset Management LLC now owns 257,735 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,137,000 after purchasing an additional 251,427 shares during the period. Finally, TD Asset Management Inc. lifted its holdings in shares of Hershey by 21.1% during the third quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 267,382 shares of the company’s stock worth $29,190,000 after purchasing an additional 46,517 shares during the period. 52.60% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

HSY stock opened at $96.06 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $20,427.28, a P/E ratio of 26.25, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.09 and a beta of 0.36. Hershey has a one year low of $95.21 and a one year high of $116.49. The company has a quick ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.21.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, February 23rd were issued a dividend of $0.656 per share. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.73%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, February 22nd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is presently 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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