Investors bought shares of Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday after an insider sold shares in the company. $74.80 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $41.47 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $33.33 million into the stock. Of all companies tracked, Hershey had the 13th highest net in-flow for the day. Hershey traded down ($3.19) for the day and closed at $97.27Specifically, VP Javier H. Idrovo sold 6,448 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $100.00, for a total value of $644,800.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 34,396 shares in the company, valued at $3,439,600. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.40, for a total transaction of $106,040.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 26,988 shares in the company, valued at $2,601,643.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.68% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Several research analysts recently weighed in on HSY shares. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, August 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada reduced their price target on shares of Hershey from $105.00 to $92.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “market perform” rating and set a $98.00 price target on shares of Hershey in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. Bank of America Corp. assumed coverage on shares of Hershey in a research report on Tuesday, August 30th. They set an “underperform” rating and a $100.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Susquehanna assumed coverage on shares of Hershey in a research report on Tuesday, October 25th. They set a “neutral” rating and a $106.00 price target on the stock. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hershey has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $101.81.

The stock has a market capitalization of $20.64 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.77 and a beta of 0.32. The company’s 50-day moving average is $97.00 and its 200 day moving average is $100.06.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 28th. The company reported $1.29 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.10. The business had revenue of $2 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.15 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 102.75% and a net margin of 11.07%. The company’s revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $1.17 EPS. On average, equities research analysts forecast that Hershey Co. will post $4.31 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 15th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 23rd will be given a dividend of $0.618 per share. This represents a $2.47 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.54%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 21st. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is currently 65.34%.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. M&R Capital Management Inc. increased its position in Hershey by 5.9% in the first quarter. M&R Capital Management Inc. now owns 3,314 shares of the company’s stock valued at $305,000 after buying an additional 184 shares in the last quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. increased its position in Hershey by 13.6% in the first quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. now owns 40,228 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,714,000 after buying an additional 4,825 shares in the last quarter. Squarepoint Ops LLC bought a new position in Hershey during the first quarter valued at $697,000. Royal Bank of Canada increased its position in Hershey by 0.7% in the first quarter. Royal Bank of Canada now owns 371,929 shares of the company’s stock valued at $34,251,000 after buying an additional 2,672 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Seven Eight Capital LLC bought a new position in Hershey during the first quarter valued at $405,000. 53.04% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

Hershey Company Profile

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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