Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc. trimmed its holdings in shares of Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 5.5% during the third quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 68,274 shares of the company’s stock after selling 3,972 shares during the quarter. Ladenburg Thalmann Financial Services Inc.’s holdings in Hershey were worth $7,450,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors and hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 10,664,194 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,145,016,000 after purchasing an additional 557,846 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 2.8% in the 2nd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 9,545,096 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,024,857,000 after purchasing an additional 260,072 shares during the period. State Street Corp lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. State Street Corp now owns 6,270,169 shares of the company’s stock worth $673,225,000 after purchasing an additional 75,548 shares during the period. Janus Henderson Group PLC lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 15.4% in the 3rd quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC now owns 4,368,862 shares of the company’s stock worth $476,949,000 after purchasing an additional 582,715 shares during the period. Finally, Northern Trust Corp lifted its position in shares of Hershey by 0.3% in the 2nd quarter. Northern Trust Corp now owns 1,825,282 shares of the company’s stock worth $195,980,000 after purchasing an additional 5,796 shares during the period. 51.32% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

A number of brokerages have recently issued reports on HSY. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $113.00 price target on shares of Hershey and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, December 7th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $122.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 2nd. Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded shares of Hershey from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $109.00 to $127.00 in a research report on Thursday, August 17th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “hold” rating and issued a $105.00 price target on shares of Hershey in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, UBS dropped their price target on shares of Hershey from $110.00 to $106.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $113.35.

Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) traded down $0.40 during trading on Tuesday, hitting $112.80. 599,800 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,024,770. The company has a quick ratio of 0.55, a current ratio of 0.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45. Hershey Co has a 52 week low of $98.85 and a 52 week high of $116.49. The firm has a market cap of $23,847.62, a P/E ratio of 23.10, a PEG ratio of 3.08 and a beta of 0.39.

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

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 22nd will be given a dividend of $0.656 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, November 21st. This represents a $2.62 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.33%. Hershey’s payout ratio is presently 77.98%.

Hershey announced that its Board of Directors has approved a share buyback plan on Thursday, October 26th that allows the company to buyback $100.00 million in shares. This buyback authorization allows the company to reacquire shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are generally a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

In other Hershey news, VP Javier H. Idrovo sold 15,132 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.04, for a total transaction of $1,665,125.28. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Friday, September 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $109.43, for a total transaction of $120,373.00. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 27,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,027,490.38. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 34,049 shares of company stock valued at $3,715,013 in the last 90 days. 0.92% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

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Hershey Profile

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 (NYSE:HSY)

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