BlackRock Advisors LLC decreased its stake in Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) by 0.5% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 378,527 shares of the company’s stock after selling 1,717 shares during the period. BlackRock Advisors LLC owned about 0.18% of Hershey worth $42,959,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also bought and sold shares of the company. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. raised its position in Hershey by 79.9% in the second quarter. Mizuho Asset Management Co. Ltd. now owns 1,896 shares of the company’s stock valued at $215,000 after buying an additional 842 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in Hershey by 7.9% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 214,838 shares of the company’s stock valued at $24,382,000 after buying an additional 15,754 shares in the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. raised its position in Hershey by 13.0% in the second quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 205,489 shares of the company’s stock valued at $23,321,000 after buying an additional 23,688 shares in the last quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC raised its position in Hershey by 38.6% in the second quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 6,263 shares of the company’s stock valued at $684,000 after buying an additional 1,743 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Hershey by 0.6% in the second quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 278,524 shares of the company’s stock valued at $31,584,000 after buying an additional 1,560 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.15% of the company’s stock.

Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) opened at 95.45 on Tuesday. The firm has a market cap of $20.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.95 and a beta of 0.20. Hershey Co. has a 52-week low of $82.42 and a 52-week high of $117.79. The stock has a 50 day moving average price of $106.14 and a 200 day moving average price of $98.85.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.07. The company earned $1.64 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.61 billion. Hershey had a net margin of 10.14% and a return on equity of 100.78%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the previous year, the firm posted $0.78 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Hershey Co. will post $4.26 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 25th were given a dividend of $0.618 per share. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 23rd. This is an increase from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. This represents a $2.47 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.59%. Hershey’s payout ratio is presently 72.22%.

Several research firms have weighed in on HSY. Vetr upgraded Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “strong-buy” rating and set a $110.00 target price on the stock in a report on Thursday, September 8th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $100.00 price target on shares of Hershey in a report on Tuesday, September 6th. Credit Suisse Group AG restated a “neutral” rating and issued a $112.00 price target on shares of Hershey in a report on Tuesday, August 30th. Bank of America Corp. began coverage on Hershey in a report on Tuesday, August 30th. They issued 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 report on Monday, August 1st. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $100.50.

In other Hershey news, COO Michele Buck sold 13,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, June 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.31, for a total value of $1,448,685.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief operating officer now directly owns 168,710 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $18,104,270.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Also, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.41, for a total transaction of $122,551.00. Following the completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,188 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,029,015.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

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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