Investors Purchase Large Volume of Hershey Put Options (NYSE:HSY)

Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) was the recipient of some unusual options trading activity on Wednesday. Investors purchased 1,942 put options on the company. This is an increase of approximately 1,221% compared to the average volume of 147 put options.

In related news, SVP D Michael Wege sold 15,517 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $108.18, for a total value of $1,678,629.06. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Michele Buck sold 400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total transaction of $43,200.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 164,497 shares in the company, valued at approximately $17,765,676. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last ninety days, insiders have sold 16,717 shares of company stock worth $1,811,009. Insiders own 0.92% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. raised its position in shares of Hershey by 0.5% during the second quarter. Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Co. now owns 8,545 shares of the company’s stock valued at $918,000 after buying an additional 39 shares during the last quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS raised its position in shares of Hershey by 0.4% during the second quarter. Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Public School Empls Retrmt SYS now owns 10,401 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,117,000 after buying an additional 42 shares during the last quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC raised its position in shares of Hershey by 1.9% during the second quarter. Ropes Wealth Advisors LLC now owns 5,447 shares of the company’s stock valued at $585,000 after buying an additional 100 shares during the last quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. raised its position in shares of Hershey by 1.1% during the second quarter. D.A. Davidson & CO. now owns 13,148 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,411,000 after buying an additional 138 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Riverhead Capital Management LLC raised its position in shares of Hershey by 2.9% during the second quarter. Riverhead Capital Management LLC now owns 6,768 shares of the company’s stock valued at $727,000 after buying an additional 189 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 51.26% of the company’s stock.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) opened at $109.37 on Friday. The company has a current ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.45. Hershey has a 1-year low of $101.61 and a 1-year high of $116.49. The firm has a market cap of $22,707.90, a P/E ratio of 32.55, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.70 and a beta of 0.38.

Hershey (NYSE:HSY) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, October 26th. The company reported $1.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.29 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $2.03 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $2.01 billion. Hershey had a net margin of 9.52% and a return on equity of 124.06%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 1.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.29 earnings per share. equities research analysts forecast that Hershey will post 4.8 EPS for the current fiscal year.

Hershey announced that its board has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, October 26th that authorizes the company to buyback $100.00 million in outstanding shares. This buyback authorization authorizes the company to buy shares of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually an indication that the company’s board of directors believes its stock is undervalued.

HSY has been the topic of a number of research reports. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a “hold” rating and issued a $122.00 price objective on shares of Hershey in a report on Friday, December 22nd. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Hershey from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $122.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, October 2nd. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded shares of Hershey from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and set a $101.00 price objective on the stock. in a report on Tuesday. Berenberg Bank raised shares of Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $90.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Monday, December 18th. Finally, UBS Group dropped their price objective on shares of Hershey from $110.00 to $106.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 27th. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. Hershey presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $112.89.

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About Hershey

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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