The Hershey Company Third Quarter Earnings Sneak Peek

S&P 500 (NYSE:SPY) component The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY) will unveil its latest earnings on Thursday, October 27, 2011. Hershey manufactures chocolate and confectionery products, food and beverage enhancers and gum and mint refreshment products.

The Hershey Company Earnings Preview Cheat Sheet

Wall St. Earnings Expectations: The average estimate of analysts is for net income of 83 cents per share, a rise of 5.1% from the company’s actual earnings for the same quarter a year ago. During the past three months, the average estimate has moved down from 85 cents. Between one and three months ago, the average estimate moved down. It also has dropped from 84 cents during the last month. For the year, analysts are projecting profit of $2.83 per share, a rise of 11% from last year.

Past Earnings Performance: The company is looking to top estimates for the third straight quarter. Last quarter, it reported net income of 56 cents per share against a mean estimate of profit of 55 cents, and the quarter before, the company exceeded forecasts by 2 cents with net income of 72 cents versus a mean estimate of profit of 70 cents.

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Wall St. Revenue Expectations: Analysts are projecting a rise of 4.5% in revenue from the year-earlier quarter to $1.62 billion.

Analyst Ratings: Analysts seem relatively indifferent about Hershey Company with nine of 13 analysts surveyed maintaining a hold rating.

A Look Back: In the second quarter, profit rose more than twofold to $130 million (56 cents a share) from $46.7 million (20 cents a share) the year earlier, exceeding analyst expectations. Revenue rose 7.5% to $1.33 billion from $1.23 billion.

Key Stats:

The company has seen net income rise in three straight quarters. Net income rose 8.6% in the first quarter and 6.9% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year.

Revenue has risen the past four quarters. Revenue rose 11.1% in the first quarter from the year earlier, climbed 5.4% in the fourth quarter of the last fiscal year from the year-ago quarter and 4.2% in the third quarter of the last fiscal year.

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

Stock Price Performance: During August 25, 2011 to October 21, 2011, the stock price had risen $3.89 (6.9%) from $56.37 to $60.26. The stock price saw one of its best stretches over the last year between January 4, 2011 and January 13, 2011 when shares rose for eight-straight days, rising 7.4% (+$3.37) over that span. It saw one of its worst periods between April 29, 2011 and May 9, 2011 when shares fell for seven-straight days, falling 3.2% (-$1.83) over that span. Shares are up $14 (+30.3%) year to date.

(Source: Xignite Financials)

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