Arizona State Retirement System raised its position in Hershey Company (The) (NYSE:HSY) by 0.2% during the first quarter, Holdings Channel reports. The institutional investor owned 52,489 shares of the company’s stock after buying an additional 100 shares during the period. Arizona State Retirement System’s holdings in Hershey Company (The) were worth $5,734,000 at the end of the most recent quarter.

A number of other institutional investors have also added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI raised its position in Hershey Company (The) by 7.7% in the fourth quarter. Commerzbank Aktiengesellschaft FI now owns 5,473 shares of the company’s stock worth $566,000 after buying an additional 390 shares in the last quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp raised its position in Hershey Company (The) by 8.7% in the fourth quarter. Van ECK Associates Corp now owns 2,051 shares of the company’s stock worth $212,000 after buying an additional 164 shares in the last quarter. Alethea Capital Management LLC acquired a new position in Hershey Company (The) during the fourth quarter worth approximately $2,206,000. Private Advisor Group LLC raised its position in Hershey Company (The) by 11.0% in the fourth quarter. Private Advisor Group LLC now owns 7,183 shares of the company’s stock worth $754,000 after buying an additional 711 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Dimensional Fund Advisors LP raised its position in Hershey Company (The) by 1.5% in the fourth quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 292,776 shares of the company’s stock worth $30,283,000 after buying an additional 4,337 shares in the last quarter. 51.47% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

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

Shares of Hershey Company (NYSE HSY) opened at 111.83 on Friday. Hershey Company has a 1-year low of $94.03 and a 1-year high of $117.79. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $111.46 and a 200-day moving average of $107.38. The firm has a market capitalization of $23.80 billion, a P/E ratio of 39.14 and a beta of 0.41.

Hershey Company (The) (NYSE:HSY) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, April 26th. The company reported $1.31 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.26 by $0.05. Hershey Company (The) had a return on equity of 117.02% and a net margin of 8.21%. The firm had revenue of $1.88 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1.89 billion. During the same period in the prior year, the business posted $1.10 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 2.8% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Hershey Company will post $4.81 earnings per share for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Thursday, June 15th. Investors of record on Thursday, May 25th were given a $0.618 dividend. This represents a $2.47 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 2.21%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, May 23rd. Hershey Company (The)’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 86.06%.

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HSY has been the topic of a number of recent research reports. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Hershey Company (The) from $103.00 to $111.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Monday, February 27th. Societe Generale raised shares of Hershey Company (The) from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and raised their price target for the stock from $96.00 to $110.00 in a research report on Tuesday, February 28th. Royal Bank Of Canada raised their price target on shares of Hershey Company (The) from $112.00 to $114.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 2nd. Credit Suisse Group set a $121.00 price target on shares of Hershey Company (The) and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 2nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reaffirmed a “market perform” rating and set a $105.00 price target on shares of Hershey Company (The) in a research report on Sunday, March 5th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. Hershey Company (The) has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $108.02.

In related news, VP Javier H. Idrovo sold 4,496 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, April 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $110.00, for a total value of $494,560.00. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 35,506 shares in the company, valued at $3,905,660. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, SVP D Michael Wege sold 1,100 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, April 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.29, for a total transaction of $119,119.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now owns 28,166 shares in the company, valued at $3,050,096.14. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last 90 days, insiders sold 104,110 shares of company stock worth $11,784,435. 0.92% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

About Hershey Company (The)

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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