State Street Corp cut its stake in shares of The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) by 2.4% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 7,581,901 shares of the company’s stock after selling 188,795 shares during the period. State Street Corp owned 3.64% of The Hershey worth $1,086,790,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Several other hedge funds and other institutional investors also recently made changes to their positions in HSY. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in The Hershey by 4.4% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 16,468,152 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,134,601,000 after buying an additional 686,698 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of The Hershey by 6.5% during the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 13,654,697 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,769,923,000 after purchasing an additional 834,014 shares in the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. increased its position in shares of The Hershey by 535.1% during the 3rd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 1,551,938 shares of the company’s stock worth $222,455,000 after purchasing an additional 1,307,591 shares in the last quarter. Bank of Montreal Can increased its position in shares of The Hershey by 3.6% during the 2nd quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 1,398,764 shares of the company’s stock worth $177,293,000 after purchasing an additional 48,624 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Nordea Investment Management AB increased its position in shares of The Hershey by 102.1% during the 2nd quarter. Nordea Investment Management AB now owns 1,341,528 shares of the company’s stock worth $171,796,000 after purchasing an additional 677,623 shares in the last quarter. 52.37% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

The Hershey stock opened at $147.78 on Friday. The company’s 50 day simple moving average is $146.55 and its 200 day simple moving average is $139.99. The Hershey Company has a fifty-two week low of $109.88 and a fifty-two week high of $161.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $30.76 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 28.98, a PEG ratio of 2.80 and a beta of 0.26. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.33, a current ratio of 1.31 and a quick ratio of 0.86.

The Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 11th. The company reported $1.86 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.72 by $0.14. The Hershey had a net margin of 13.50% and a return on equity of 70.65%. The business had revenue of $2.22 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.16 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm earned $1.61 EPS. The Hershey’s quarterly revenue was up 4.0% compared to the same quarter last year. As a group, analysts predict that The Hershey Company will post 6.04 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Tuesday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, November 20th will be paid a dividend of $0.804 per share. This represents a $3.22 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.18%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 19th. The Hershey’s payout ratio is 55.71%.

In other The Hershey news, CEO Michele Buck sold 2,500 shares of The Hershey stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 28th. The shares were sold at an average price of $140.62, for a total value of $351,550.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 162,621 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $22,867,765.02. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, Director Pamela M. Arway sold 256 shares of The Hershey stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, October 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.02, for a total transaction of $36,357.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 16,002 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,272,604.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 5,256 shares of company stock worth $738,682 in the last three months. 29.39% of the stock is owned by insiders.

HSY has been the subject of a number of recent analyst reports. Credit Suisse Group increased their target price on shares of The Hershey from $170.00 to $172.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research report on Monday, November 9th. Smith Barney Citigroup started coverage on shares of The Hershey in a research report on Monday, October 19th. They set a “buy” rating for the company. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of The Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $148.00 price objective for the company. in a research report on Friday, September 18th. Citigroup Inc. 3% Minimum Coupon Principal Protected Based Upon Russell started coverage on shares of The Hershey in a research report on Monday, October 19th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $172.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of The Hershey from $148.00 to $152.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, November 9th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The Hershey currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $149.13.

The Hershey Company Profile

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for The Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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