Short Interest in Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) Grows By 12.1%

Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) was the target of a large growth in short interest in November. As of November 29th, there was short interest totalling 3,440,000 shares, a growth of 12.1% from the November 14th total of 3,070,000 shares. Based on an average daily trading volume, of 1,030,000 shares, the days-to-cover ratio is presently 3.3 days. Approximately 2.3% of the shares of the stock are sold short.

In other news, SVP Kevin R. Walling sold 17,745 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, October 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $154.23, for a total transaction of $2,736,811.35. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 44,599 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,878,503.77. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CEO Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, October 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $155.85, for a total transaction of $233,775.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 153,929 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,989,834.65. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 69,604 shares of company stock valued at $10,442,568 in the last ninety days. Insiders own 0.41% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Tdam USA Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Hershey by 2.7% in the 2nd quarter. Tdam USA Inc. now owns 2,753 shares of the company’s stock valued at $369,000 after acquiring an additional 73 shares during the last quarter. Private Capital Group LLC increased its stake in Hershey by 5.5% in the 2nd quarter. Private Capital Group LLC now owns 1,556 shares of the company’s stock worth $145,000 after purchasing an additional 81 shares during the period. Securian Asset Management Inc lifted its position in Hershey by 0.6% in the second quarter. Securian Asset Management Inc now owns 14,449 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,937,000 after purchasing an additional 82 shares during the last quarter. Benedict Financial Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Hershey by 0.4% in the second quarter. Benedict Financial Advisors Inc. now owns 25,436 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,409,000 after purchasing an additional 92 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Cornerstone Advisors Inc. lifted its position in Hershey by 28.7% in the third quarter. Cornerstone Advisors Inc. now owns 413 shares of the company’s stock valued at $64,000 after purchasing an additional 92 shares during the last quarter. 53.39% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

HSY has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Sanford C. Bernstein cut Hershey from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $155.00 target price for the company. in a research report on Thursday, September 12th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. UBS Group set a $147.00 price target on Hershey and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, October 25th. Bank of America set a $165.00 price target on Hershey and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, October 25th. Royal Bank of Canada began coverage on Hershey in a report on Thursday, October 17th. They set a “sector perform” rating and a $158.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Deutsche Bank started coverage on shares of Hershey in a research report on Wednesday. They issued a “hold” rating and a $155.00 price objective on the stock. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $146.20.

HSY stock traded down $0.31 during mid-day trading on Friday, hitting $146.51. 16,441 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 786,346. The business has a fifty day moving average price of $145.85 and a 200 day moving average price of $147.21. Hershey has a 12 month low of $100.80 and a 12 month high of $162.20. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.64, a current ratio of 0.80 and a quick ratio of 0.47. The stock has a market capitalization of $31.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.41, a PEG ratio of 3.74 and a beta of 0.05.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 24th. The company reported $1.61 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.60 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $2.13 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $2.12 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 77.39% and a net margin of 16.18%. The company’s revenue was up 2.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.55 EPS. As a group, equities analysts forecast that Hershey will post 5.72 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 16th. Shareholders of record on Friday, November 22nd will be given a dividend of $0.773 per share. This represents a $3.09 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.11%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, November 21st. Hershey’s payout ratio is currently 57.65%.

Hershey Company Profile

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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