Suncoast Equity Management lifted its position in shares of Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 20.8% in the 3rd quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the SEC. The fund owned 3,720 shares of the company’s stock after acquiring an additional 640 shares during the period. Hershey accounts for 0.1% of Suncoast Equity Management’s portfolio, making the stock its 27th biggest holding. Suncoast Equity Management’s holdings in Hershey were worth $533,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other institutional investors have also recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. grew its position in shares of Hershey by 2.2% during the second quarter. Stratos Wealth Partners LTD. now owns 3,575 shares of the company’s stock worth $464,000 after acquiring an additional 77 shares during the last quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. lifted its holdings in Hershey by 5.4% in the third quarter. Carroll Financial Associates Inc. now owns 1,490 shares of the company’s stock worth $213,000 after purchasing an additional 77 shares during the period. IFP Advisors Inc lifted its holdings in Hershey by 29.1% in the second quarter. IFP Advisors Inc now owns 377 shares of the company’s stock worth $48,000 after purchasing an additional 85 shares during the period. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC lifted its holdings in Hershey by 4.6% in the second quarter. Douglas Lane & Associates LLC now owns 2,148 shares of the company’s stock worth $278,000 after purchasing an additional 94 shares during the period. Finally, DC Investments Management LLC lifted its holdings in Hershey by 2.2% in the second quarter. DC Investments Management LLC now owns 4,656 shares of the company’s stock worth $604,000 after purchasing an additional 98 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 52.37% of the company’s stock.

In other news, CEO Michele Buck sold 2,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 28th. The stock was sold at an average price of $140.31, for a total value of $350,775.00. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 165,121 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,168,127.51. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Pamela M. Arway sold 256 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, October 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $142.02, for a total value of $36,357.12. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 16,002 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,272,604.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 29.39% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several research firms recently weighed in on HSY. Smith Barney Citigroup began coverage on shares of Hershey in a report on Monday, October 19th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. BMO Capital Markets raised shares of Hershey from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating and upped their price objective for the stock from $150.00 to $163.00 in a report on Tuesday, September 29th. Credit Suisse Group upped their price objective on shares of Hershey from $152.00 to $170.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, July 24th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on shares of Hershey from $135.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 24th. Finally, Jefferies Financial Group upped their price target on shares of Hershey from $136.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, July 17th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hershey presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $148.00.

HSY stock traded up $0.90 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $146.34. 383,672 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 1,122,053. The company has a current ratio of 1.31, a quick ratio of 0.86 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.33. Hershey Co has a 52-week low of $109.88 and a 52-week high of $161.83. The company has a market cap of $30.44 billion, a P/E ratio of 28.69, a P/E/G ratio of 2.88 and a beta of 0.21. The stock’s fifty day moving average is $144.23 and its 200-day moving average is $139.09.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last issued its earnings results on Thursday, July 23rd. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.13 by $0.18. The company had revenue of $1.71 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1.74 billion. Hershey had a return on equity of 70.65% and a net margin of 13.50%. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down 3.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the prior year, the company earned $1.31 EPS. Equities research analysts expect that Hershey Co will post 6.02 earnings per share for the current year.

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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Hershey (NYSE:HSY)

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