Published On: Tue, Sep 20th, 2016

Hershey Co. (HSY) Short Interest Update

Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) was the target of a significant decrease in short interest in the month of August. As of August 31st, there was short interest totalling 1,654,828 shares, a decrease of 46.2% from the August 15th total of 3,074,911 shares. Currently, 1.1% of the company’s shares are sold short. Based on an average trading volume of 1,987,747 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 0.8 days.
Several equities analysts have weighed in on HSY shares. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. reissued a “neutral” rating and issued a $89.00 target price on shares of Hershey in a research note on Saturday, July 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, August 1st. Royal Bank Of Canada cut their target price on Hershey from $105.00 to $92.00 and set a “sector perform” rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Bank of America Corp. started coverage on Hershey in a research note on Tuesday, August 30th. They issued an “underperform” rating and a $100.00 target price on the stock. Finally, RBC Capital Markets reissued a “sector perform” rating and issued a $105.00 target price (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Hershey in a research note on Wednesday, July 27th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, three have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $100.50.
In other news, COO Michele Buck sold 13,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, June 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $107.31, for a total transaction of $1,448,685.00. Following the transaction, the chief operating officer now owns 168,710 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,104,270.10. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, August 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.41, for a total value of $122,551.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,188 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,029,015.08. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.

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Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in HSY. Investment Centers of America Inc. raised its stake in Hershey by 48.2% in the first quarter. Investment Centers of America Inc. now owns 4,002 shares of the company’s stock worth $368,000 after buying an additional 1,301 shares during the period. Glenmede Trust Co. NA raised its stake in Hershey by 2.5% in the first quarter. Glenmede Trust Co. NA now owns 113,358 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,438,000 after buying an additional 2,791 shares during the period. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC bought a new stake in Hershey during the first quarter worth approximately $409,000. PGGM Investments raised its stake in Hershey by 4.8% in the first quarter. PGGM Investments now owns 133,560 shares of the company’s stock worth $12,300,000 after buying an additional 6,111 shares during the period. Finally, Headinvest LLC raised its stake in Hershey by 25.5% in the first quarter. Headinvest LLC now owns 3,200 shares of the company’s stock worth $295,000 after buying an additional 650 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 53.15% of the company’s stock.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) opened at 95.45 on Tuesday. Hershey has a 1-year low of $82.42 and a 1-year high of $117.79. The company has a market capitalization of $20.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 27.95 and a beta of 0.20. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $106.14 and a 200-day moving average price of $98.85.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.85 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.78 by $0.07. Hershey had a return on equity of 100.78% and a net margin of 10.14%. The firm had revenue of $1.64 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.61 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.78 EPS. The business’s revenue was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Hershey will post $4.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The business also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, August 25th were given a $0.618 dividend. This represents a $2.47 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 2.59%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Tuesday, August 23rd. This is a positive change from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. Hershey’s payout ratio is 72.22%.
Hershey Company Profile
The Hershey Company is a producer of chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery. The Company’s principal confectionery offerings include gum and mint refreshment products; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings and beverages, and snack items, such as spreads, meat snacks, bars, and snack bites and mixes.

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