Hershey Reports Higher Earnings; Tops Estimates; Raises Outlook (HSY)

Chocolate producer, Hershey Co (HSY) reported higher earnings for its first quarter on Thursday, which came in above analysts estimates. They company has also raised its full year guidance.

The Hershey, PA based company reported first quarter profit of $241.91 million, or $1.06 per share, up 18% from $198.65, or 87 cents per share last year. Excluding special items, earnings were $248.47 million, or $1.09 per share, which beat analysts estimate of $1.04 per share.

Sales for the quarter rose 5.5% to $1.8 billion, which matched analysts estimate of $1.8 billion.

The increase in sales was from primarily due to increased sales volumes for its candies. Although the company has been faced with higher expenses for ingredients, higher pricing has offset the costs. The company said that it will spend more on marketing this year, and focus on promoting its latest acquisition Brookside products, which is a premium candy company.

Looking ahead, Hershey has improved its FY2013 outlook, and now expects to see earnings between $3.61 and $3.65 per share. This outlook is up from the company’s prior estimate of earnings between $3.56 and $3.63 per share. The company maintained its revenue growth outlook of 5% to 7%.

Hershey shares were up 49 cents, or 0.55% during Thursday morning trading. The stock has increased 35% in the past year.

The Bottom Line
Shares of Hershey Co (HSY) have a 1.87% yield, based on Thursday morning’s price of $89.98.

Hershey Co (HSY) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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