Jefferies Group LLC lowered its position in Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 63.5% during the fourth quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 16,886 shares of the company’s stock after selling 29,437 shares during the quarter. Jefferies Group LLC’s holdings in Hershey were worth $1,917,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently modified their holdings of the company. Toronto Dominion Bank grew its stake in Hershey by 13.2% in the third quarter. Toronto Dominion Bank now owns 53,737 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,865,000 after purchasing an additional 6,261 shares in the last quarter. Vaughan David Investments Inc. IL grew its stake in Hershey by 13,195.1% in the third quarter. Vaughan David Investments Inc. IL now owns 271,221 shares of the company’s stock valued at $27,787,000 after purchasing an additional 269,181 shares in the last quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec grew its stake in Hershey by 2.0% in the third quarter. Caisse DE Depot ET Placement DU Quebec now owns 50,203 shares of the company’s stock valued at $5,504,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. grew its stake in Hershey by 1.0% in the third quarter. Asset Management One Co. Ltd. now owns 231,392 shares of the company’s stock valued at $25,233,000 after purchasing an additional 2,381 shares in the last quarter. Finally, New York State Common Retirement Fund grew its stake in Hershey by 20.1% in the third quarter. New York State Common Retirement Fund now owns 455,858 shares of the company’s stock valued at $49,766,000 after purchasing an additional 76,158 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.11% of the company’s stock.
In related news, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, December 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $114.95, for a total transaction of $45,980.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 164,097 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,862,950.15. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. 0.92% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, missing analysts’ consensus estimates 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 during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.96 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.17 EPS. Hershey’s quarterly revenue was down 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts expect that Hershey Co will post 5.36 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed 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. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, February 22nd. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.58%. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is presently 71.58%.
A number of research analysts have commented on HSY shares. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $113.00 target price on Hershey and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, December 18th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, December 26th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. started coverage on Hershey in a research note on Wednesday, February 14th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $106.00 target price on the stock. Morgan Stanley cut Hershey from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Finally, Berenberg Bank raised Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $90.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, December 18th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hershey currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $111.53.
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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