Scharf Investments LLC decreased its stake in Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 35.5% in the 2nd quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The firm owned 722,073 shares of the company’s stock after selling 396,587 shares during the period. Hershey accounts for about 3.8% of Scharf Investments LLC’s holdings, making the stock its 14th biggest holding. Scharf Investments LLC owned 0.34% of Hershey worth $96,779,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Several other hedge funds also recently modified their holdings of HSY. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its position in Hershey by 23.3% in the 4th quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 634,859 shares of the company’s stock valued at $68,042,000 after acquiring an additional 120,051 shares in the last quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC lifted its holdings in Hershey by 12.8% during the 4th quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,189,376 shares of the company’s stock worth $234,317,000 after buying an additional 249,155 shares in the last quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. lifted its holdings in Hershey by 37.3% during the 1st quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 302 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,000 after buying an additional 82 shares in the last quarter. Stevens Capital Management LP acquired a new stake in Hershey during the 1st quarter worth approximately $793,000. Finally, Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV lifted its holdings in Hershey by 25.6% during the 1st quarter. Nissay Asset Management Corp Japan ADV now owns 26,271 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,017,000 after buying an additional 5,351 shares in the last quarter. 53.60% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.
In other Hershey news, CEO Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, July 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $138.57, for a total value of $207,855.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 158,429 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $21,953,506.53. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, major shareholder Hershey Trust Co sold 3,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, August 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $158.38, for a total value of $490,978.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 83,230 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $13,181,967.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders have sold 93,044 shares of company stock valued at $13,146,029. 0.41% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 25th. The company reported $1.31 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.18 by $0.13. Hershey had a return on equity of 83.29% and a net margin of 15.51%. The firm had revenue of $1.77 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.77 billion. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.14 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up .9% on a year-over-year basis. On average, analysts forecast that Hershey Co will post 5.74 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.
The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 16th. Investors of record on Friday, August 23rd will be given a dividend of $0.773 per share. This is an increase from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.72. This represents a $3.09 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.09%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, August 22nd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is currently 57.65%.
Several research firms have recently commented on HSY. UBS Group upgraded shares of Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and raised their target price for the stock from $100.00 to $145.00 in a research note on Monday, July 22nd. Evercore ISI started coverage on Hershey in a report on Tuesday, June 11th. They issued an “in-line” rating and a $145.00 target price on the stock. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Hershey from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, May 17th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on Hershey from $132.00 to $145.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 26th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group upgraded Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their target price for the company from $86.00 to $142.00 in a report on Wednesday, July 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and three have assigned a buy rating to the company. Hershey has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $138.71.
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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