The Hershey (NYSE:HSY) Coverage Initiated by Analysts at Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley began coverage on shares of The Hershey (NYSE:HSY) in a report released on Tuesday morning, Analyst Ratings Network reports. The brokerage issued a hold rating and a $180.00 target price on the stock.

A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on HSY. Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on The Hershey from $180.00 to $194.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, July 30th. Piper Sandler upped their target price on The Hershey from $182.00 to $194.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Friday, July 30th. Royal Bank of Canada upped their target price on The Hershey from $188.00 to $189.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, July 30th. BMO Capital Markets upped their target price on The Hershey from $175.00 to $181.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a report on Friday, July 30th. Finally, Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft increased their price objective on The Hershey from $166.00 to $173.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Thursday, July 22nd. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. According to data from MarketBeat.com, the company currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $177.50.

NYSE:HSY opened at $171.78 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $35.39 billion, a PE ratio of 24.97, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.30 and a beta of 0.36. The Hershey has a fifty-two week low of $134.00 and a fifty-two week high of $182.71. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.80, a quick ratio of 0.73 and a current ratio of 1.40. The business has a 50 day moving average price of $177.63 and a 200-day moving average price of $170.41.

The Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 29th. The company reported $1.47 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.42 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $1.99 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.85 billion. The Hershey had a return on equity of 63.62% and a net margin of 16.52%. Research analysts predict that The Hershey will post 6.92 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 20th were issued a dividend of $0.901 per share. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 19th. This is an increase from The Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.80. This represents a $3.60 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.10%. The Hershey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 57.23%.

In related news, CEO Michele Buck sold 2,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, June 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $175.15, for a total transaction of $437,875.00. Following the sale, the chief executive officer now directly owns 180,497 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $31,614,049.55. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Pamela M. Arway sold 319 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, July 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $175.88, for a total value of $56,105.72. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 15,861 shares in the company, valued at $2,789,632.68. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 15,079 shares of company stock valued at $2,674,010 over the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.32% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the business. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in The Hershey by 0.9% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,295,984 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,315,896,000 after purchasing an additional 118,609 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp boosted its position in The Hershey by 2.6% in the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,908,487 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,203,320,000 after purchasing an additional 172,102 shares during the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in The Hershey by 0.9% in the second quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,860,331 shares of the company’s stock worth $497,138,000 after purchasing an additional 25,103 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its position in The Hershey by 1.4% in the second quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 2,404,450 shares of the company’s stock worth $418,808,000 after purchasing an additional 32,856 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp boosted its position in The Hershey by 5.6% in the second quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 2,019,023 shares of the company’s stock worth $351,672,000 after purchasing an additional 106,242 shares during the last quarter. 52.34% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About The Hershey

The Hershey Co engages in the manufacture and market of chocolate and sugar confectionery products. The firm operates through the following geographical segments: North America; and International and Other. The North America segment is responsible for the traditional chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery market position of the company, as well as its grocery and snacks market positions, in the United States and Canada.

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Analyst Recommendations for The Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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