Murphy Capital Management Inc. Raises Stock Holdings in Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY)

Murphy Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 2.4% during the 3rd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 14,097 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 334 shares during the period. Murphy Capital Management Inc.’s holdings in Hershey were worth $2,184,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other large investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Krane Funds Advisors LLC bought a new stake in shares of Hershey during the 2nd quarter valued at $25,000. Berman Capital Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Hershey by 172.8% in the 2nd quarter. Berman Capital Advisors LLC now owns 221 shares of the company’s stock worth $28,000 after purchasing an additional 140 shares during the last quarter. Country Trust Bank purchased a new position in shares of Hershey in the 3rd quarter worth about $30,000. Adirondack Trust Co. purchased a new position in shares of Hershey in the 3rd quarter worth about $31,000. Finally, First Interstate Bank purchased a new position in shares of Hershey in the 2nd quarter worth about $38,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 53.60% of the company’s stock.

In other news, major shareholder Hershey Trust Co sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, July 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $152.82, for a total transaction of $1,528,200.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 92,330 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,109,870.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 12th. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.56, for a total transaction of $233,340.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 156,929 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $24,411,875.24. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 43,677 shares of company stock valued at $6,733,480 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.41% of the company’s stock.

Several equities analysts have recently issued reports on HSY shares. Sanford C. Bernstein lowered Hershey from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $155.00 price target for the company. in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Bank of America reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $165.00 price target (up previously from $152.00) on shares of Hershey in a research report on Friday, July 26th. BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on Hershey to $133.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 26th. Credit Suisse Group boosted their target price on Hershey from $130.00 to $155.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Friday, July 26th. Finally, ValuEngine lowered Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 2nd. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $141.93.

NYSE:HSY traded down $0.44 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $155.86. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 362,581 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,179,886. Hershey Co has a 12-month low of $99.15 and a 12-month high of $162.20. The firm’s fifty day moving average price is $155.77 and its two-hundred day moving average price is $138.89. The company has a current ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 0.48 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.71. The stock has a market cap of $32.76 billion, a P/E ratio of 29.08, a PEG ratio of 3.71 and a beta of 0.07.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 25th. The company reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.13. Hershey had a net margin of 15.51% and a return on equity of 83.29%. The firm had revenue of $1.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.77 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.14 EPS. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up .9% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts predict that Hershey Co will post 5.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, September 16th. Stockholders of record on Friday, August 23rd were given a dividend of $0.773 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, August 22nd. This represents a $3.09 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.98%. This is a positive change from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.72. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is presently 57.65%.

Hershey Company Profile

The Hershey Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and sells confectionery products. The company operates through two segments, North America; and International and Other. It offers chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products comprising mints, chewing gums, and bubble gums; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings, beverages, and sundae syrups; and snack items, including spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites, mixes, popcorn and protein bars, and cookies.

Featured Article: Why is insider trading harmful?

Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

Receive News & Ratings for Hershey Daily - Enter your email address below to receive a concise daily summary of the latest news and analysts' ratings for Hershey and related companies with MarketBeat.com's FREE daily email newsletter.