Hershey’s Neutral Rating Reaffirmed at Zacks (HSY)
Hershey (NYSE:HSY)‘s stock had its “neutral” rating reiterated by Zacks in a note issued to investors on Thursday. They currently have a $102.00 price target on the stock. Zacks‘s target price would indicate a potential upside of 5.22% from the stock’s previous close.
Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Hershey announced lower-than-expected first-quarter 2014 results as sales softened and input costs increased. Hershey missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both earnings and revenues – possibly one of the softest results for the company. Moreover, though management maintained the top- and bottom-line guidance for 2014, it lowered gross margin expectations in anticipation of higher dairy costs leading to a decline in share price. However, despite the near-term weakness, we have faith in the company’s long-term fundamentals. Overall, Hershey’s strong brand positioning, strategic marketing investments in core brands, disciplined innovation and consumer capabilities make it attractive. However, even though the company is fast expanding its international presence, we prefer to remain on the sidelines until we see substantial profitability from these efforts. We, thus, have a Neutral recommendation on the stock.”
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) remained flat at $96.94 during trading on Thursday. The stock had a trading volume of 769,067 shares. Hershey has a 52-week low of $85.14 and a 52-week high of $108.69. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $96.86 and its 200-day moving average is $99.60. The company has a market cap of $21.588 billion and a P/E ratio of 26.49.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its earnings data on Thursday, April 24th. The company reported $1.15 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.14 by $0.01. The company had revenue of $1.87 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.91 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.09 earnings per share. Hershey’s revenue was up 2.4% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts expect that Hershey will post $4.11 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Friday, June 13th. Investors of record on Friday, May 23rd will be paid a dividend of $0.485 per share. This represents a $1.94 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.00%. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, May 21st.
HSY has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at Argus downgraded shares of Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 29th. They now have a $3.00 price target on the stock. Separately, analysts at Morgan Stanley reiterated an “equal weight” rating on shares of Hershey in a research note on Monday, May 19th. They now have a $100.00 price target on the stock. Finally, analysts at Deutsche Bank reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Hershey in a research note on Friday, April 25th. They now have a $109.00 price target on the stock. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Hershey presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $95.38.
The Hershey Company is a producer of chocolate in North America and a provider in chocolate and sugar confectionery.
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