Raymond James Trust N.A. lowered its position in shares of The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) by 16.3% in the fourth quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The institutional investor owned 37,828 shares of the company’s stock after selling 7,388 shares during the quarter. Raymond James Trust N.A.’s holdings in The Hershey were worth $5,762,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.
Other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ increased its position in shares of The Hershey by 1.5% during the 3rd quarter. Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken AB publ now owns 88,487 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,684,000 after purchasing an additional 1,339 shares in the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp grew its holdings in The Hershey by 13.0% during the 3rd quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 9,250 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,326,000 after acquiring an additional 1,064 shares during the last quarter. LVM Capital Management Ltd. MI grew its holdings in The Hershey by 0.6% during the 4th quarter. LVM Capital Management Ltd. MI now owns 63,359 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,651,000 after acquiring an additional 384 shares during the last quarter. Biltmore Capital Advisors LLC bought a new stake in The Hershey during the 3rd quarter worth about $78,000. Finally, SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC grew its holdings in The Hershey by 11.0% during the 3rd quarter. SeaCrest Wealth Management LLC now owns 1,873 shares of the company’s stock worth $268,000 after acquiring an additional 185 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 49.56% of the company’s stock.
NYSE HSY traded up $0.54 during trading on Wednesday, reaching $149.92. 709,494 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 684,183. The firm has a market cap of $31.20 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.30, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 3.12 and a beta of 0.30. The stock’s 50-day moving average price is $150.28 and its 200 day moving average price is $145.01. The company has a quick ratio of 1.01, a current ratio of 1.44 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.98. The Hershey Company has a fifty-two week low of $109.88 and a fifty-two week high of $161.83.
The Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, November 11th. The company reported $1.86 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.72 by $0.14. The firm had revenue of $2.22 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.16 billion. The Hershey had a net margin of 14.87% and a return on equity of 70.30%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company earned $1.61 earnings per share. Analysts anticipate that The Hershey Company will post 6.22 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Tuesday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, November 20th were issued a dividend of $0.804 per share. This represents a $3.22 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.15%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, November 19th. The Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is currently 55.71%.
In other The Hershey news, Director Pamela M. Arway sold 278 shares of The Hershey stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, January 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $151.46, for a total value of $42,105.88. Following the transaction, the director now owns 15,994 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,422,451.24. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Also, CEO Michele Buck sold 2,500 shares of The Hershey stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 30th. The shares were sold at an average price of $147.40, for a total transaction of $368,500.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 160,121 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,601,835.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 7,778 shares of company stock valued at $1,139,781. Corporate insiders own 29.39% of the company’s stock.
A number of equities research analysts have commented on the stock. Credit Suisse Group increased their price objective on shares of The Hershey from $170.00 to $172.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, November 9th. Bank of America raised shares of The Hershey from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $168.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, January 6th. Wells Fargo & Company decreased their price objective on shares of The Hershey from $155.00 to $149.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, November 9th. Jefferies Financial Group increased their price objective on shares of The Hershey from $157.00 to $162.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday. Finally, Morgan Stanley raised their target price on shares of The Hershey from $148.00 to $152.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Monday, November 9th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $152.25.
About The Hershey
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.
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