Rhumbline Advisers cut its stake in Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 2.9% in the 4th quarter, according to the company in its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The fund owned 300,339 shares of the company’s stock after selling 9,095 shares during the quarter. Rhumbline Advisers’ holdings in Hershey were worth $34,091,000 as of its most recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission.
Several other institutional investors also recently modified their holdings of the company. Rodgers Brothers Inc. raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 5.6% in the third quarter. Rodgers Brothers Inc. now owns 8,900 shares of the company’s stock worth $972,000 after purchasing an additional 475 shares during the last quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc raised its stake in shares of Hershey by 2.6% in the third quarter. CIBC Asset Management Inc now owns 19,288 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,106,000 after purchasing an additional 495 shares during the last quarter. Fernwood Investment Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Hershey by 10.6% in the third quarter. Fernwood Investment Management LLC now owns 5,225 shares of the company’s stock valued at $570,000 after acquiring an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Palo Capital Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Hershey by 6.9% in the fourth quarter. Palo Capital Inc. now owns 8,138 shares of the company’s stock valued at $924,000 after acquiring an additional 522 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS grew its holdings in shares of Hershey by 3.3% in the third quarter. Kornitzer Capital Management Inc. KS now owns 16,640 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,817,000 after acquiring an additional 525 shares in the last quarter. 52.54% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.
In other Hershey news, CEO Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, January 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $111.55, for a total transaction of $44,620.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 163,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $18,260,400.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Over the last three months, insiders have sold 1,200 shares of company stock valued at $133,800. 0.92% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 1st. The company reported $1.03 earnings per share for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $1.06 by ($0.03). Hershey had a net margin of 10.42% and a return on equity of 116.74%. The firm had revenue of $1.94 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.96 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $1.17 earnings per share. Hershey’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts predict that Hershey Co will post 5.36 EPS for the current year.
Hershey declared that its board has approved a share buyback program on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to repurchase $100.00 million in shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually a sign that the company’s board of directors believes its shares are undervalued.
The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, March 15th. Shareholders of record on Friday, February 23rd will be issued a dividend of $0.656 per share. This represents a $2.62 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.63%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 22nd. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 71.58%.
Several research firms have recently issued reports on HSY. JPMorgan Chase & Co. began coverage on Hershey in a report on Wednesday, February 14th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $106.00 target price for the company. Argus reduced their target price on Hershey from $125.00 to $120.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, February 6th. Barclays reduced their target price on Hershey from $110.00 to $107.00 and set an “equal weight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on Hershey from $105.00 to $100.00 and set an “underweight” rating for the company in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lowered Hershey from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and reduced their target price for the company from $129.00 to $115.00 in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $111.44.
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The Hershey Company is a producer of chocolate in North America. The Company’s principal product offerings include chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products; pantry items, such as baking ingredients and beverages, and snack items, such as spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites and mixes.
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