Weekly Investment Analysts’ Ratings Updates for Hershey (HSY)

Hershey (NYSE: HSY) recently received a number of ratings updates from brokerages and research firms:

  • 2/6/2018 – Hershey had its price target lowered by analysts at Argus from $125.00 to $120.00. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 2/2/2018 – Hershey had its price target lowered by analysts at Barclays PLC from $110.00 to $107.00. They now have an “equal weight” rating on the stock.
  • 2/2/2018 – Hershey had its price target lowered by analysts at Morgan Stanley from $105.00 to $100.00. They now have an “underweight” rating on the stock. They wrote, “We admire CLX’s lean operating structure, strong market shares in midsize categories, and track record of an innovation­driven top line. However, we view weak category growth as both a near­term and long­term headwind to growth, and, as such, see the risk­reward at these levels as less than compelling.””
  • 2/2/2018 – Hershey was downgraded by analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating. They now have a $115.00 price target on the stock, down previously from $129.00.
  • 1/30/2018 – Hershey had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Royal Bank of Canada. They now have a $120.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/30/2018 – Hershey had its “neutral” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. They now have a $110.00 price target on the stock, up previously from $108.00.
  • 1/17/2018 – Hershey was given a new $108.00 price target on by analysts at Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.
  • 1/16/2018 – Hershey was downgraded by analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating. They now have a $101.00 price target on the stock.
  • 1/11/2018 – Hershey was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating. According to Zacks, “Hershey’s shares have outperformed the industry in the last one year. Earnings estimates for 2018 have also moved 1.2% north over the last 30 days, showing analysts' confidence on the stock's prospects. Growth in its core brands, successful innovation and progress in multi-year productivity, and cost-saving initiatives are positives for Hershey. However, economic slowdown in China and softening chocolate category trends have been hurting Hershey’s international sales since 2015.”
  • 1/10/2018 – Hershey was downgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating.
  • 12/29/2017 – Hershey was upgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating. They now have a $128.00 price target on the stock. According to Zacks, “Hershey’s shares have outperformed the industry year to date. This price performance is backed by impressive earnings surprise history, with the company having surpassed the Zacks Consensus Estimate in all the trailing four quarters. Growth in its core brands, successful innovation and progress in multi-year productivity, and cost-saving initiatives drove the outperformance. However, economic slowdown in China and softening chocolate category trends have been hurting Hershey’s international sales since 2015. Notably, earnings estimate for the current year and next have remained stable over the last 60 days, limiting upside potential for the stock.”
  • 12/26/2017 – Hershey was downgraded by analysts at Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating. According to Zacks, “Hershey’s top-line performance has been weak for quite some time now. Sales increased a meager 0.7% in 2016 and 1.9% in the first nine months of 2017. Soft international sales due to macro headwinds, changing consumer shopping habits and intense competition from the broader snacking environment in the United States were mainly responsible for the sales results. Persistent macroeconomic challenges in China also continue to hurt the company’s result. Hershey expects China’s net sales in 2017 to decline single digits on a year-over-year basis as lower direct trade, returns, discounts and allowances are likely to hurt gross sales. Notably, earnings estimates for the current year and next have moved downward over the last 60 days, limiting upside potential for the stock.”
  • 12/22/2017 – Hershey had its “hold” rating reaffirmed by analysts at Royal Bank of Canada. They now have a $122.00 price target on the stock.
  • 12/19/2017 – Hershey was given a new $124.00 price target on by analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein. They now have a “buy” rating on the stock.
  • 12/18/2017 – Hershey was upgraded by analysts at Berenberg Bank from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating. They now have a $90.00 price target on the stock.
  • 12/18/2017 – Hershey was given a new $113.00 price target on by analysts at Susquehanna Bancshares Inc. They now have a “hold” rating on the stock.

Shares of Hershey Co (NYSE HSY) traded up $0.45 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $100.12. 404,992 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,209,390. Hershey Co has a 1 year low of $97.62 and a 1 year high of $116.49. The company has a quick ratio of 0.60, a current ratio of 0.96 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.21. The firm has a market capitalization of $20,997.28, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.36, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.15 and a beta of 0.26.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $1.03 EPS for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.06 by ($0.03). Hershey had a return on equity of 116.74% and a net margin of 10.42%. The company had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.96 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.17 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts anticipate that Hershey Co will post 5.36 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Investors of record on Friday, February 23rd will be given a dividend of $0.656 per share. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.62%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 22nd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 71.58%.

In related news, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total transaction of $43,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 164,497 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,765,676. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Insiders have sold 1,200 shares of company stock valued at $133,800 in the last ninety days. 0.92% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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.

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