Shares of Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) have received a consensus recommendation of “Hold” from the sixteen analysts that are currently covering the company, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell recommendation, nine have issued a hold recommendation and four have given a buy recommendation to the company. The average twelve-month price target among brokers that have issued a report on the stock in the last year is $112.73.

Several equities analysts recently issued reports on HSY shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $122.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. UBS lowered their price objective on Hershey from $110.00 to $106.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $113.00 target price on Hershey and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Thursday, October 26th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $105.00 target price on shares of Hershey in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Citigroup upped their price objective on Hershey from $126.00 to $130.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, October 27th.

In other news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 15,517 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.18, for a total transaction of $1,678,629.06. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total transaction of $43,200.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 165,297 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,852,076. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have sold 32,949 shares of company stock worth $3,594,640. 0.92% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of HSY. NGAM Advisors L.P. purchased a new position in Hershey in the second quarter valued at about $1,082,000. Bessemer Group Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Hershey by 19.1% in the 2nd quarter. Bessemer Group Inc. now owns 2,123 shares of the company’s stock worth $228,000 after buying an additional 341 shares during the last quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. increased its holdings in shares of Hershey by 6.0% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 463,696 shares of the company’s stock worth $49,788,000 after buying an additional 26,163 shares during the last quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale increased its holdings in shares of Hershey by 10.2% in the 2nd quarter. DekaBank Deutsche Girozentrale now owns 18,091 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,989,000 after buying an additional 1,670 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advisors Asset Management Inc. bought a new position in shares of Hershey in the 2nd quarter worth $6,440,000. 51.32% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

Shares of Hershey (NYSE:HSY) opened at $113.36 on Friday. Hershey has a 12-month low of $98.85 and a 12-month high of $116.49. The firm has a market capitalization of $23,889.75, a PE ratio of 23.14, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.08 and a beta of 0.39. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45, a current ratio of 0.95 and a quick ratio of 0.55.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $1.33 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.29 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $2.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.01 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 124.06% and a net margin of 9.52%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the company posted $1.29 earnings per share. sell-side analysts expect that Hershey will post 4.8 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 22nd will be paid a dividend of $0.656 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 21st. This represents a $2.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.31%. Hershey’s payout ratio is presently 77.98%.

Hershey declared that its Board of Directors has approved a share repurchase program on Thursday, October 26th that allows the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback programs are usually an indication that the company’s board believes its shares are undervalued.

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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.

Analyst Recommendations for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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