First Eagle Investment Management LLC increased its position in Hershey Company (The) (NYSE:HSY) by 106.0% in the third quarter, according to the company in its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 1,115,299 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 573,799 shares during the period. First Eagle Investment Management LLC owned about 0.53% of Hershey Company (The) worth $121,757,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Koch Industries Inc. purchased a new stake in Hershey Company (The) during the 2nd quarter valued at $614,000. HighTower Advisors LLC raised its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 10.8% during the 2nd quarter. HighTower Advisors LLC now owns 44,186 shares of the company’s stock valued at $4,747,000 after buying an additional 4,297 shares during the last quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. raised its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 16.7% during the 2nd quarter. Robeco Institutional Asset Management B.V. now owns 140,777 shares of the company’s stock valued at $15,117,000 after buying an additional 20,116 shares during the last quarter. NorthCoast Asset Management LLC purchased a new stake in Hershey Company (The) during the 2nd quarter valued at $677,000. Finally, BB&T Securities LLC raised its stake in Hershey Company (The) by 8.0% during the 2nd quarter. BB&T Securities LLC now owns 10,459 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,123,000 after buying an additional 778 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors own 50.22% of the company’s stock.

Shares of Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) traded down $0.42 during trading on Tuesday, reaching $108.18. 939,800 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,031,222. The company has a market cap of $22,878.54, a P/E ratio of 22.16, a P/E/G ratio of 2.95 and a beta of 0.36. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45, a current ratio of 0.95 and a quick ratio of 0.55. Hershey Company has a one year low of $95.68 and a one year high of $116.49.

Hershey Company (The) (NYSE:HSY) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.04. The company had revenue of $2.03 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.01 billion. Hershey Company (The) had a net margin of 9.52% and a return on equity of 124.06%. Hershey Company (The)’s quarterly revenue was up 1.5% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.29 EPS. analysts anticipate that Hershey Company will post 4.8 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Hershey Company (The) declared that its board has approved a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $100.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s leadership believes its shares are undervalued.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 22nd will be issued a $0.656 dividend. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.43%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 21st. Hershey Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio is currently 77.98%.

HSY has been the subject of a number of research reports. BMO Capital Markets reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $105.00 target price on shares of Hershey Company (The) in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Morgan Stanley decreased their target price on shares of Hershey Company (The) from $111.00 to $108.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 18th. UBS AG decreased their target price on shares of Hershey Company (The) from $110.00 to $106.00 and set a “neutral” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc set a $113.00 target price on shares of Hershey Company (The) and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. boosted their target price on shares of Hershey Company (The) from $126.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, October 27th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $113.35.

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In other Hershey Company (The) news, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total transaction of $43,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 165,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,895,276. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Hershey Trust Co Trustee In Tr sold 4,500,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.01, for a total transaction of $477,045,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 4,518,532 shares of company stock valued at $479,081,384 in the last ninety days. 0.92% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

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

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