Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD cut its position in shares of Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) by 15.8% during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the SEC. The institutional investor owned 33,582 shares of the company’s stock after selling 6,292 shares during the period. Sumitomo Mitsui Asset Management Company LTD’s holdings in Hershey were worth $3,425,000 as of its most recent filing with the SEC.

Other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also recently made changes to their positions in the company. FTB Advisors Inc. lifted its stake in shares of Hershey by 108.4% in the second quarter. FTB Advisors Inc. now owns 1,167 shares of the company’s stock worth $107,000 after buying an additional 607 shares in the last quarter. Farmers & Merchants Trust Co of Chambersburg PA purchased a new position in shares of Hershey in the second quarter worth about $121,000. Fort L.P. purchased a new position in shares of Hershey in the second quarter worth about $123,000. Flagship Harbor Advisors LLC purchased a new position in shares of Hershey in the second quarter worth about $130,000. Finally, grace capital purchased a new position in shares of Hershey in the second quarter worth about $130,000. 52.73% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

In other Hershey news, major shareholder Hershey Trust Co Trustee In Tr sold 47,170 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction dated Monday, October 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.00, for a total transaction of $5,000,020.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 102,330 shares in the company, valued at $10,846,980. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, SVP Kevin R. Walling sold 30,835 shares of Hershey stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.18, for a total transaction of $3,119,885.30. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 57,611 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,829,080.98. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last quarter, insiders have sold 121,716 shares of company stock valued at $12,690,499. Company insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

HSY has been the topic of several research reports. Stifel Nicolaus raised their price target on shares of Hershey from $90.00 to $95.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Piper Jaffray Companies raised their price target on shares of Hershey from $97.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Credit Suisse Group raised their price target on shares of Hershey from $80.00 to $85.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Hershey from $93.00 to $98.00 and gave the stock an “underweight” rating in a research note on Friday, July 27th. Finally, ValuEngine raised shares of Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 15th. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $103.81.

Hershey stock traded up $1.51 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $108.58. 1,659,250 shares of the stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,346,017. Hershey Co has a fifty-two week low of $89.10 and a fifty-two week high of $115.82. The stock has a market cap of $22.66 billion, a P/E ratio of 22.81, a PEG ratio of 2.37 and a beta of 0.17. The company has a current ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 0.69 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.60.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last released its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, October 25th. The company reported $1.55 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, hitting the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.55. Hershey had a net margin of 13.20% and a return on equity of 102.30%. The firm had revenue of $2.08 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $2.08 billion. As a group, analysts forecast that Hershey Co will post 5.37 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 14th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 21st will be given a dividend of $0.722 per share. This represents a $2.89 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.66%. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, November 20th. Hershey’s payout ratio is currently 60.71%.

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About Hershey

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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