Goldman Sachs Group lowered shares of Hershey (NYSE:HSY) from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, Marketbeat.com reports. The firm currently has $101.00 target price on the stock.

Several other research firms have also recently commented on HSY. Zacks Investment Research cut Hershey from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, December 26th. Royal Bank of Canada reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $122.00 price target on shares of Hershey in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $124.00 price target on Hershey and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, December 19th. Berenberg Bank raised Hershey from a sell rating to a hold rating and set a $90.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday, December 18th. Finally, Susquehanna Bancshares set a $113.00 price target on Hershey and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Monday, December 18th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Hershey presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $112.89.

Shares of Hershey (NYSE HSY) opened at $109.37 on Tuesday. Hershey has a 52 week low of $101.61 and a 52 week high of $116.49. The firm has a market capitalization of $22,707.90, a P/E ratio of 32.55, a P/E/G ratio of 2.70 and a beta of 0.38. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a current ratio of 0.95.

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

Hershey declared that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback program on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $100.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 15,517 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.18, for a total value of $1,678,629.06. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 9th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total value of $43,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 164,897 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $17,808,876. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 16,717 shares of company stock valued at $1,811,009. 0.92% of the stock is currently owned by insiders.

Several institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of HSY. WFG Advisors LP raised its holdings in shares of Hershey by 25.2% in the 2nd quarter. WFG Advisors LP now owns 998 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 201 shares in the last quarter. Sun Life Financial INC raised its holdings in shares of Hershey by 12,637.5% in the 2nd quarter. Sun Life Financial INC now owns 1,019 shares of the company’s stock worth $109,000 after buying an additional 1,011 shares in the last quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Hershey by 528.8% in the 4th quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 1,465 shares of the company’s stock worth $166,000 after buying an additional 1,232 shares in the last quarter. Valeo Financial Advisors LLC acquired a new position in shares of Hershey in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $174,000. Finally, Douglas Lane & Associates LLC acquired a new position in shares of Hershey in the 3rd quarter worth approximately $202,000. 51.26% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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About Hershey

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.

Analyst Recommendations for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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