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Hershey (NYSE:HSY)‘s stock had its “neutral” rating reissued by Zacks in a research note issued on Tuesday. They currently have a $96.00 price objective on the stock. Zacks‘s price target suggests a potential upside of 5.01% from the stock’s previous close.

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 the weak gross margins and lower-than-expected sales in the U.S. due to increased competitive activity. The dramatic increase in dairy costs this year severely hurt Hershey’s gross margins in the first half of the year. In fact, management now expects fiscal 2014 results to be at the lower end of its long-term targets due to higher-than-expected dairy costs. However, the latest price increase is notable and should boost sales and profits in 2015. Moreover, 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.”

A number of other firms have also recently commented on HSY. Analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Hershey in a research note on Friday, July 25th. They now have a $97.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $99.00. Separately, analysts at Credit Suisse reiterated a “neutral” rating on shares of Hershey in a research note on Friday, July 25th. They now have a $99.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $101.00. Finally, analysts at Deutsche Bank reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of Hershey in a research note on Wednesday, July 16th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. Hershey presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $92.45.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) traded down 0.11% on Tuesday, hitting $91.316. 299,903 shares of the company’s stock traded hands. Hershey has a 52 week low of $87.88 and a 52 week high of $108.69. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $91.59 and a 200-day moving average of $98.01. The company has a market cap of $20.256 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 24.71.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its earnings data 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. Analysts expect that Hershey will post $4.06 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which is scheduled for Monday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Monday, August 25th will be paid a dividend of $0.535 per share. This represents a $2.14 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.34%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 21st. This is a positive change 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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