The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), Hershey met expectations on revenues and met expectations on earnings per share.
Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased and GAAP earnings per share expanded.
Gross margins dropped, operating margins contracted, net margins were steady.
Hershey reported revenue of $1.57 billion. The 12 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expected net sales of $1.56 billion. Sales were 5.7% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.48 billion.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions.
Non-GAAP EPS came in at $0.70. The 15 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ anticipated $0.70 per share on the same basis. GAAP EPS of $0.63 for Q4 were 8.6% higher than the prior-year quarter's $0.58 per share.
Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Figures may be non-GAAP to maintain comparability with estimates.
For the quarter, gross margin was 40.3%, 190 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 14.9%, 100 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 9.1%, about the same as the prior-year quarter.
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $1.65 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $0.80.
Next year's average estimate for revenue is $6.48 billion. The average EPS estimate is $3.11.
The stock has a two-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 500 members out of 609 rating the stock outperform, and 109 members rating it underperform. Among 187 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 158 give Hershey a green thumbs-up, and 29 give it a red thumbs-down.
Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on Hershey is outperform, with an average price target of $61.64.
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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.