Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) updated its FY16 earnings guidance on Friday. The company provided earnings per share guidance of $4.24-4.28 for the period, compared to the Thomson Reuters consensus earnings per share estimate of $4.26.

A number of research firms recently issued reports on HSY. Vetr upgraded Hershey from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $110.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Thursday, September 8th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a neutral rating and set a $100.00 price target on shares of Hershey in a research note on Tuesday, September 6th. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a neutral rating and set a $112.00 price target on shares of Hershey in a research note on Tuesday, August 30th. Bank of America Corp. began coverage on Hershey in a research note on Tuesday, August 30th. They set an underperform rating and a $100.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Zacks Investment Research upgraded Hershey from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $100.50.

Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) opened at 95.65 on Friday. The firm has a market capitalization of $20.39 billion, a PE ratio of 28.01 and a beta of 0.23. Hershey Co. has a 12-month low of $82.42 and a 12-month high of $117.79. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $97.63 and a 200-day moving average price of $99.15.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.78 by $0.07. Hershey had a return on equity of 100.78% and a net margin of 10.14%. The business earned $1.64 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.61 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.78 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Hershey Co. will post $4.26 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 25th were issued a $0.618 dividend. This represents a $2.47 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.58%. This is a positive change from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 23rd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is 72.22%.

In related news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.41, for a total value of $122,551.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,188 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,029,015.08. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. 0.68% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. Stonebridge Capital Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Hershey during the second quarter worth about $201,000. Cubist Systematic Strategies LLC purchased a new position in shares of Hershey during the second quarter worth about $1,463,000. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Hershey by 75.1% in the second quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 525,649 shares of the company’s stock worth $59,656,000 after buying an additional 225,529 shares during the last quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co raised its position in shares of Hershey by 445.1% in the second quarter. Paloma Partners Management Co now owns 41,088 shares of the company’s stock worth $4,663,000 after buying an additional 33,550 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Panagora Asset Management Inc. raised its position in shares of Hershey by 30.0% in the second quarter. Panagora Asset Management Inc. now owns 26,242 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,978,000 after buying an additional 6,052 shares during the last quarter. 53.11% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Hershey

The Hershey Company is a producer of chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery. The Company’s principal confectionery offerings include gum and mint refreshment products; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings and beverages, and snack items, such as spreads, meat snacks, bars, and snack bites and mixes.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:HSY

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