Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) by 7.9% during the second quarter, according to its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The institutional investor owned 214,838 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 15,754 shares during the period. Principal Financial Group Inc. owned 0.10% of Hershey worth $24,382,000 as of its most recent SEC filing.
Other institutional investors also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cleararc Capital Inc. raised its position in Hershey by 0.3% in the first quarter. Cleararc Capital Inc. now owns 3,512 shares of the company’s stock worth $323,000 after buying an additional 9 shares in the last quarter. Kanawha Capital Management LLC raised its position in Hershey by 0.4% in the second quarter. Kanawha Capital Management LLC now owns 3,411 shares of the company’s stock worth $387,000 after buying an additional 13 shares in the last quarter. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. raised its position in Hershey by 2.2% in the second quarter. Orrstown Financial Services Inc. now owns 940 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 20 shares in the last quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. raised its position in Hershey by 1.3% in the second quarter. Whittier Trust Co. of Nevada Inc. now owns 3,205 shares of the company’s stock worth $364,000 after buying an additional 40 shares in the last quarter. Finally, 10 15 Associates Inc. raised its position in Hershey by 1.1% in the first quarter. 10 15 Associates Inc. now owns 4,205 shares of the company’s stock worth $387,000 after buying an additional 44 shares in the last quarter. 53.11% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
Shares of Hershey Co. (NYSE:HSY) traded up 0.64% on Thursday, hitting $95.74. The company had a trading volume of 183,228 shares. The stock has a market cap of $20.41 billion, a PE ratio of 28.04 and a beta of 0.20. Hershey Co. has a 12 month low of $82.42 and a 12 month high of $117.79. The company has a 50-day moving average of $103.06 and a 200 day moving average of $98.96.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.85 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.78 by $0.07. Hershey had a net margin of 10.14% and a return on equity of 100.78%. The firm earned $1.64 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.61 billion. During the same period last year, the firm posted $0.78 EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.7% on a year-over-year basis. Analysts anticipate that Hershey Co. will post $4.26 EPS for the current fiscal year.
The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, September 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, August 25th were issued a dividend of $0.618 per share. This is an increase from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.58. This represents a $2.47 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.60%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, August 23rd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 72.22%.
A number of research firms recently issued reports on HSY. Deutsche Bank AG lowered their price target on Hershey from $105.00 to $91.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Tuesday, July 26th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Wednesday, July 13th. Argus lowered Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $97.14 to $111.95 in a report on Tuesday, July 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. RBC Capital Markets reissued a “sector perform” rating and set a $105.00 price target (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Hershey in a report on Wednesday, July 27th. Finally, Vetr downgraded shares of Hershey from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $108.33 price objective for the company. in a research report on Tuesday, September 6th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Hershey has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $100.50.
In related news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction dated Friday, July 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.43, for a total transaction of $119,273.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 27,288 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,958,837.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Corporate insiders own 0.68% of the company’s stock.
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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