Hershey (HSY) Reaches New 1-Year High After Insider Buying Activity

Shares of Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) reached a new 52-week high on Friday after an insider bought additional shares in the company. The company traded as high as $132.00 and last traded at $131.95, with a volume of 1064316 shares traded. The stock had previously closed at $130.81.

Specifically, insider Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $109.52, for a total transaction of $164,280.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Anthony J. Palmer sold 5,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $130.43, for a total value of $652,150.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 10,014 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,306,126.02. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last quarter, insiders have purchased 3,100 shares of company stock valued at $401,990 and have sold 3,585,119 shares valued at $451,408,885. Corporate insiders own 0.41% of the company’s stock.

Several brokerages recently issued reports on HSY. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $139.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, May 8th. UBS Group set a $100.00 price objective on Hershey and gave the company a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. BMO Capital Markets upped their price objective on Hershey from $93.00 to $108.00 and gave the company a “market perform” rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Barclays upped their price objective on Hershey from $103.00 to $120.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Finally, Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and issued a $130.00 price objective (up previously from $120.00) on shares of Hershey in a research note on Friday, April 26th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $113.91.

The company has a market cap of $26.91 billion, a PE ratio of 24.62, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.83 and a beta of 0.18. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.27, a current ratio of 0.92 and a quick ratio of 0.59.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 25th. The company reported $1.59 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.48 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $2.02 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 90.64% and a net margin of 14.44%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.41 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Hershey Co will post 5.7 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, June 14th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 24th will be given a dividend of $0.722 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, May 23rd. This represents a $2.89 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.19%. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is presently 53.92%.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of HSY. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 6.7% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 129,031 shares of the company’s stock valued at $13,161,000 after buying an additional 8,063 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 1.1% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 10,862,696 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,107,995,000 after buying an additional 116,765 shares during the last quarter. Strs Ohio lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 16.0% during the 4th quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 15,826 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,696,000 after buying an additional 2,182 shares during the last quarter. CWM LLC lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 749.2% during the 4th quarter. CWM LLC now owns 552 shares of the company’s stock valued at $59,000 after buying an additional 487 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 8.5% during the 4th quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 37,073 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,973,000 after buying an additional 2,910 shares during the last quarter. 53.63% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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Hershey Company Profile (NYSE:HSY)

The Hershey Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells confectionery products. The company operates through two segments, North America; and International and Other. It offers chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products comprising mints, chewing gums, and bubble gums; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings, beverages, and sundae syrups; and snack items, including spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites, mixes, popcorn and protein bars, and cookies.

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