Hershey Company (The) (HSY) Cut to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Hershey Company (The) (HSY) Cut to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Hershey Company (The) (NYSE:HSY) from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Although, Hershey is now registering sales growth in recent times, its sales trends have been weak since 2014 due to weak category trends, increased competition from broader snacking category and soft international growth. The top-line weakness continued in 2016 with sales declining 0.1% in the first nine months of 2016. Persistent macroeconomic challenges in China continue to hurt the company’s sales. Gross margin also remains a grad and the company continues to expect 2016 gross margin to be slightly below 2015 level mainly due to unfavorable sales mix.”

Several other research firms have also recently commented on HSY. Vetr cut shares of Hershey Company (The) from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $105.00 target price on the stock. in a research note on Thursday, October 27th. Citigroup Inc. raised shares of Hershey Company (The) from a neutral rating to a buy rating and lowered their target price for the company from $115.00 to $110.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 27th. Deutsche Bank AG reissued a hold rating on shares of Hershey Company (The) in a research note on Friday, October 21st. Susquehanna set a $106.00 target price on shares of Hershey Company (The) and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Saturday, December 10th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised their target price on shares of Hershey Company (The) from $94.00 to $97.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Monday, October 31st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $100.79.

Shares of Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) traded down 0.336% on Tuesday, hitting $105.315. 298,132 shares of the stock were exchanged. Hershey Company has a one year low of $86.64 and a one year high of $117.79. The firm’s 50 day moving average price is $103.54 and its 200 day moving average price is $102.33. The firm has a market cap of $22.35 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.898 and a beta of 0.30.

Hershey Company (The) (NYSE:HSY) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Friday, October 28th. The company reported $1.29 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.19 by $0.10. The firm had revenue of $2 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.15 billion. Hershey Company (The) had a net margin of 11.07% and a return on equity of 102.75%. Hershey Company (The)’s quarterly revenue was up 2.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.17 EPS. Equities analysts anticipate that Hershey Company will post $4.31 earnings per share for the current year.

In other Hershey Company (The) news, COO Michele Buck sold 6,500 shares of Hershey Company (The) stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, December 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.38, for a total value of $678,470.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 157,210 shares in the company, valued at $16,409,579.80. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, major shareholder Hershey Trust Co Trustee In Tr bought 49,500 shares of Hershey Company (The) stock in a transaction on Monday, November 7th. The stock was acquired at an average price of $101.60 per share, with a total value of $5,029,200.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the insider now directly owns 12,753,421 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,295,747,573.60. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 50,828 shares of company stock valued at $5,217,263. 0.68% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Alliancebernstein L.P. boosted its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 446.5% in the second quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 1,533,479 shares of the company’s stock worth $174,034,000 after buying an additional 1,252,894 shares during the period. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD boosted its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 123.9% in the third quarter. Price T Rowe Associates Inc. MD now owns 1,844,019 shares of the company’s stock worth $176,288,000 after buying an additional 1,020,255 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP boosted its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 565.1% in the third quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 846,886 shares of the company’s stock worth $80,962,000 after buying an additional 719,546 shares during the period. Capital World Investors boosted its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 11.6% in the second quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 4,800,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $544,752,000 after buying an additional 500,000 shares during the period. Finally, American Century Companies Inc. boosted its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 7,523.0% in the second quarter. American Century Companies Inc. now owns 448,232 shares of the company’s stock worth $50,870,000 after buying an additional 442,352 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 51.31% of the company’s stock.

About Hershey Company (The)

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.

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