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Hershey (NYSE:HSY)‘s stock had its “neutral” rating restated by Zacks in a research report issued on Friday. They currently have a $97.00 target price on the stock. Zacks‘s price objective indicates a potential upside of 4.83% from the company’s current price.

Zacks’ analyst wrote, “Hershey’s second-quarter adjusted earnings of $0.76 per share were in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also within the preliminary range released a week before. Earnings grew 5.6% from the prior-year quarter as lower advertising costs made up for weak gross margins and lower-than-expected sales in the U.S. The dramatic increase in dairy costs this year has severely hurt Hershey’s gross margins in the first half of the year. In-fact, management now expects its fiscal 2014 results to be at the lower end of its long-term targets due to higher-than-expected dairy costs. 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. We, thus, have a Neutral recommendation on the stock.”

HSY has been the subject of a number of other recent research reports. Analysts at Deutsche Bank reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Hershey in a research note on Wednesday, July 16th. Separately, analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Hershey in a research note on Wednesday, July 16th. They now have a $99.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $100.00. Finally, analysts at Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Hershey from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 16th. They now have a $108.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $101.00. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have assigned a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $92.55.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) traded up 0.21% during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $92.53. 1,596,715 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Hershey has a 1-year low of $89.28 and a 1-year high of $108.69. The stock’s 50-day moving average is $96.32 and its 200-day moving average is $99.55. The company has a market cap of $20.606 billion and a P/E ratio of 25.23.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its earnings results on Thursday, July 24th. The company reported $0.76 earnings per share for the quarter, meeting the analysts’ consensus estimate of $0.76. The company had revenue of $1.58 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.60 billion. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $0.72 earnings per share. Hershey’s revenue was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, analysts predict that Hershey will post $4.08 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Monday, September 15th. Investors of record on Monday, August 25th will be given a dividend of $0.535 per share. This represents a $2.14 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.31%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, August 21st. This is an increase from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.49.

The Hershey Company is a producer of chocolate in North America and a provider in chocolate and sugar confectionery.

To view Zacks’ full report, visit Zacks’ official website.

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