Hershey Earnings Cheat Sheet: Sales Sweeter 11% at American Icon

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) reported its results for the first quarter. Hershey Co. manufactures chocolate and confectionery products, food and beverage enhancers and gum and mint refreshment products.

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The Hershey Company Earnings Cheat Sheet for the First Quarter

Results: Net income for The Hershey Company rose to $160.1 million (70 cents/share) vs. $147.4 million (64 cents/share) in the same quarter a year earlier. A rise of 8.6% from the year earlier quarter.

Revenue: Rose 11.1% to $1.56 billion YoY.

Actual vs. Wall St. Expectations: HSY fell right in step with the street’s estimates of 70 cents/share.

Quoting Management: “Hershey’s first quarter results represent a good start to the year and we maintained our marketplace momentum,” said David J. West, President and Chief Executive Officer. “As anticipated, first quarter net sales were strong, increasing 11.1 percent. Net sales gains were driven by core brand growth in both U.S. and international markets, new products and a seasonal shift in volume from the fourth quarter of last year to the first quarter of this year. Additionally, the first quarter benefited from a change in order patterns of certain customers.”

Key Stats: The company has now seen net income rise in three-straight quarters. In the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year, net income rose 6.9% and in the third quarter of the last fiscal year, the figure rose 11.2%.

Over the last five quarters, revenue has increased 8% on average year over year. The biggest increase came in the first quarter of the last fiscal year, when revenue rose 13.9% from the year earlier quarter.

Competitors to Watch: Kraft Foods Inc. (NYSE:KFT), Snyder S Lance Inc (NASDAQ:LNCE), John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc. (NASDAQ:JBSS), Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Inc. (NASDAQ:RMCF), Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. (NYSE:TR), Ralcorp Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RAH), Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:DMND), The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAIN), General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) Pepsi (NYSE:PEP), Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) and The J.M. Smucker Company (NYSE:SJM).

Today’s Performance: Shares of HSY are trading at $56.70 as of April 26, 2011 at 7:58 AM ET, up from the previous close.

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