Manning & Napier Group LLC lifted its position in shares of Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 5.2% during the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities & Exchange Commission. The firm owned 61,505 shares of the company’s stock after purchasing an additional 3,015 shares during the quarter. Manning & Napier Group LLC’s holdings in Hershey were worth $6,272,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other large investors have also recently modified their holdings of HSY. FMR LLC raised its position in shares of Hershey by 42.5% during the second quarter. FMR LLC now owns 5,089,056 shares of the company’s stock worth $473,587,000 after purchasing an additional 1,518,053 shares during the period. Bank of Montreal Can acquired a new position in shares of Hershey during the second quarter worth approximately $48,331,000. Mawer Investment Management Ltd. acquired a new position in shares of Hershey during the second quarter worth approximately $41,355,000. Morgan Stanley raised its position in shares of Hershey by 52.7% during the second quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 1,073,758 shares of the company’s stock worth $99,924,000 after purchasing an additional 370,478 shares during the period. Finally, Millennium Management LLC raised its position in shares of Hershey by 420.4% during the first quarter. Millennium Management LLC now owns 341,787 shares of the company’s stock worth $33,823,000 after purchasing an additional 276,105 shares during the period. 52.70% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

A number of equities analysts have recently weighed in on HSY shares. Zacks Investment Research raised Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $106.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. Consumer Edge lowered Hershey from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, July 9th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on Hershey from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies upped their target price on Hershey from $97.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their price target on Hershey from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Friday, July 27th. Five research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $103.39.

Shares of Hershey stock opened at $103.41 on Friday. Hershey Co has a 12-month low of $89.10 and a 12-month high of $115.82. The firm has a market cap of $21.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 21.50, a P/E/G ratio of 2.17 and a beta of 0.32. The company has a quick ratio of 0.58, a current ratio of 0.94 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.05.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $1.14 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.10 by $0.04. Hershey had a return on equity of 108.82% and a net margin of 13.40%. The business had revenue of $1.75 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.74 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company posted $1.09 earnings per share. Hershey’s revenue was up 5.3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Hershey Co will post 5.36 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, September 14th. Shareholders of record on Friday, August 24th were paid a $0.722 dividend. This represents a $2.89 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.79%. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, August 23rd. This is an increase from Hershey’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.66. Hershey’s dividend payout ratio is 60.71%.

In other Hershey news, CFO Patricia A. Little sold 17,589 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.00, for a total value of $1,811,667.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 37,086 shares in the company, valued at approximately $3,819,858. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Patricia A. Little sold 21,622 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Monday, October 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.00, for a total value of $2,291,932.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 58,708 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $6,223,048. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 74,546 shares of company stock valued at $7,668,954 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 0.87% of the company’s stock.

Hershey 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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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