Great West Life Assurance Co. Can boosted its stake in The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY – Free Report) by 0.2% during the second quarter, HoldingsChannel reports. The firm owned 212,321 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 397 shares during the period. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can’s holdings in Hershey were worth $53,305,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.
Several other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of HSY. Vanguard Group Inc. lifted its stake in Hershey by 1.6% during the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 14,057,990 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,045,383,000 after purchasing an additional 216,715 shares during the last quarter. Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd Zurich raised its holdings in shares of Hershey by 97,975.0% during the 2nd quarter. Bank Julius Baer & Co. Ltd Zurich now owns 4,329,031 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,080,959,000 after buying an additional 4,324,617 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its position in Hershey by 9.1% in the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 3,489,322 shares of the company’s stock worth $886,746,000 after buying an additional 290,920 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley boosted its stake in Hershey by 57.2% in the fourth quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 2,648,666 shares of the company’s stock worth $613,352,000 after buying an additional 964,019 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank bought a new position in Hershey during the fourth quarter valued at approximately $411,828,000. 56.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.
Insiders Place Their Bets
In other news, Director Pamela M. Arway sold 182 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, October 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $194.56, for a total transaction of $35,409.92. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 15,562 shares in the company, valued at $3,027,742.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. In related news, CFO Steven E. Voskuil sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 25th. The shares were sold at an average price of $207.00, for a total value of $310,500.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 35,816 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,413,912. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, Director Pamela M. Arway sold 182 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 9th. The shares were sold at an average price of $194.56, for a total transaction of $35,409.92. Following the sale, the director now owns 15,562 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,027,742.72. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 4,682 shares of company stock worth $953,275. 0.34% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.
Hershey Stock Down 1.5 %
Hershey (NYSE:HSY – Get Free Report) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $2.60 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $2.47 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $3.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.95 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 54.74% and a net margin of 17.11%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 11.1% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $2.17 earnings per share. As a group, analysts forecast that The Hershey Company will post 9.54 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
Hershey Dividend Announcement
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 15th. Investors of record on Friday, November 17th will be paid a dividend of $1.192 per share. This represents a $4.77 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.47%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 16th. Hershey’s payout ratio is currently 51.46%.
Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades
A number of equities research analysts have recently issued reports on HSY shares. Wells Fargo & Company cut their price objective on shares of Hershey from $260.00 to $240.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, July 28th. Stephens started coverage on Hershey in a research note on Friday, October 13th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $240.00 price objective on the stock. Argus lowered their target price on Hershey from $315.00 to $270.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, August 11th. Bank of America reduced their price target on Hershey from $300.00 to $250.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 17th. Finally, TD Cowen downgraded Hershey from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and lowered their price objective for the company from $235.00 to $200.00 in a research report on Friday, October 27th. Ten equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. Based on data from MarketBeat.com, the stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $246.05.
Hershey Company Profile
The Hershey Company, together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of confectionery products and pantry items in the United States and internationally. The company operates through three segments: North America Confectionery, North America Salty Snacks, and International. It offers chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products, including mints, chewing gums, and bubble gums; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings, beverages, and sundae syrups; and snack items comprising spreads, bars, snack bites, mixes, popcorn, and pretzels.
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