Wall Street analysts expect that Hershey Company (The) (NYSE:HSY) will announce earnings per share (EPS) of $0.91 for the current fiscal quarter, Zacks reports. Four analysts have provided estimates for Hershey Company (The)’s earnings. The lowest EPS estimate is $0.88 and the highest is $0.94. Hershey Company (The) reported earnings per share of $0.85 during the same quarter last year, which suggests a positive year-over-year growth rate of 7.1%. The business is expected to report its next quarterly earnings results before the market opens on Wednesday, July 26th.

According to Zacks, analysts expect that Hershey Company (The) will report full-year earnings of $4.80 per share for the current year, with EPS estimates ranging from $4.77 to $4.81. For the next fiscal year, analysts forecast that the company will report earnings of $5.19 per share, with EPS estimates ranging from $5.15 to $5.33. Zacks Investment Research’s EPS averages are an average based on a survey of research firms that cover Hershey Company (The).

Hershey Company (The) (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 26th. The company reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.26 by $0.05. The firm had revenue of $1.88 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.89 billion. Hershey Company (The) had a return on equity of 117.02% and a net margin of 8.21%. The firm’s revenue was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.10 earnings per share.

HSY has been the subject of several recent research reports. BidaskClub cut Hershey Company (The) from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday. Zacks Investment Research lowered Hershey Company (The) from a “buy” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 29th. J P Morgan Chase & Co reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $116.00 price objective (down previously from $119.00) on shares of Hershey Company (The) in a research note on Wednesday, June 28th. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc set a $115.00 price target on shares of Hershey Company (The) and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, June 17th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG dropped their price objective on shares of Hershey Company (The) from $117.00 to $114.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, April 28th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $108.66.

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In other news, VP Javier H. Idrovo sold 4,496 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.00, for a total transaction of $494,560.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 35,506 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,905,660. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.11, for a total value of $44,044.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 166,497 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,332,984.67. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 111,689 shares of company stock worth $12,647,422 in the last quarter. 0.92% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Invictus RG purchased a new position in shares of Hershey Company (The) during the first quarter worth approximately $155,000. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. increased its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 139.5% in the second quarter. Independent Portfolio Consultants Inc. now owns 1,521 shares of the company’s stock worth $163,000 after buying an additional 886 shares during the last quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC increased its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 43.6% in the first quarter. YorkBridge Wealth Partners LLC now owns 1,565 shares of the company’s stock worth $168,000 after buying an additional 475 shares during the last quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp increased its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 0.8% in the first quarter. Enterprise Financial Services Corp now owns 1,681 shares of the company’s stock worth $184,000 after buying an additional 14 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Johnson Financial Group Inc. increased its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 9.5% in the first quarter. Johnson Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,733 shares of the company’s stock worth $189,000 after buying an additional 150 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 51.09% of the company’s stock.

Hershey Company (HSY) traded up 0.74% during midday trading on Wednesday, reaching $104.83. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 945,747 shares. Hershey Company has a 52-week low of $94.03 and a 52-week high of $116.49. The firm has a market cap of $22.31 billion, a P/E ratio of 36.69 and a beta of 0.38. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $112.17 and a 200 day moving average of $108.15.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, May 25th were issued a dividend of $0.618 per share. This represents a $2.47 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.38%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 23rd. Hershey Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 86.06%.

About Hershey Company (The)

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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