Susquehanna Bancshares set a $113.00 target price on Hershey (NYSE:HSY) in a research report report published on Thursday morning. The firm currently has a hold rating on the stock.

HSY has been the topic of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Hershey from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $122.00 target price on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 2nd. UBS dropped their target price on shares of Hershey from $110.00 to $106.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 27th. BMO Capital Markets reissued a hold rating and set a $105.00 price objective on shares of Hershey in a report on Friday, October 27th. Citigroup boosted their price objective on shares of Hershey from $126.00 to $130.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, October 27th. Finally, Sanford C. Bernstein raised shares of Hershey from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and boosted their price objective for the company from $109.00 to $127.00 in a report on Thursday, August 17th. Three 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 stock has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $113.35.

Hershey (NYSE HSY) opened at $113.20 on Thursday. The stock 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 has a 52 week low of $98.12 and a 52 week high of $116.49. 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 (NYSE:HSY) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $1.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.04. The firm had revenue of $2.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.01 billion. Hershey had a net margin of 9.52% and a return on equity of 124.06%. The business’s revenue was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm posted $1.29 earnings per share. research analysts forecast that Hershey will post 4.8 EPS for the current year.

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 purchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares buyback plans are typically an indication that the company’s management believes its shares are undervalued.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, November 22nd will be issued 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 yield of 2.32%. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is currently 77.98%.

In other Hershey news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred 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 completion of the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,666 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,027,490.38. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Also, VP Javier H. Idrovo sold 15,132 shares of the stock in a transaction on Wednesday, October 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $110.04, for a total transaction of $1,665,125.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last ninety days, insiders have sold 34,049 shares of company stock valued at $3,715,013. 0.92% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Hershey by 5.5% in the second 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 in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its stake in shares of Hershey by 2.8% in the second 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 in the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Hershey by 1.2% in the second 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 in the last quarter. Janus Henderson Group PLC increased its stake in shares of Hershey by 15.4% in the third 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 in the last quarter. Finally, Northern Trust Corp increased its stake in shares of Hershey by 0.3% in the second 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 in the last quarter. 51.32% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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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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