Hershey (NYSE:HSY) reported earnings on Thursday. Here's what you need to know about the company's recent results.
Hershey reported earnings of $0.76 per share for the second quarter, which was on pace with Wall Street's expected profits. The maker of Reese's, Kit Kat, and Almond Joy reaffirmed adjusted full-year 2014 earnings to increase 9% to 11% over last year and be in the range of $4.05 to $4.13 a share. The company also announced that shareholders would be rewarded with a 10% increase in Hershey's dividend. Yet shares of the Pennsylvania-based company were down roughly 2% in early trading.
The chocolate maker posted Q2 organic sales growth of 4.6% to $1.58 billion from $1.51 billion for the year-ago quarter. Hershey's revenue increased largely on higher volume while costs also rose. New products drove the majority of Hershey's volume growth for the quarter. Approximately 60% of overall volume growth came from new products, while core brands brought in about 40% of growth. New products growth stemmed from successful innovations such as its Hershey's Spreads and York Minis. Ice Breakers Cool Blasts Chews, Brookside Crunchy Clusters, and Reese's Spreads are on track to launch in the fourth quarter. Overseas markets will see broader rollouts of Hershey's, Hershey's Kisses, and Reese's Peanut Butter Cup brands. Hershey anticipates its full-year 2014 sales growth to be around the low end of its long-term 5% and 7% target.
Focus remains on emerging markets
Hershey currently obtains less than 20% of revenues from customers outside the U.S. But due to rising incomes making chocolate a more affordable and frequent treat as opposed to a luxury, the candy maker is increasingly focusing on emerging markets. Hershey's international sales increased 16% in 2013. China is one emerging market that Hershey is particularly interested in. Forecast chocolate sales growth in China will be about 7% this year, a key reason that Hershey bought Chinese candy maker Shanghai Golden Monkey. Its acquisition will be completed in the latter half of 2014. However, according to its press release, "[Hershey] expects the impact of the [Shanghai Golden Monkey] acquisition to be minimal on an adjusted basis in 2014".
Hershey boasts attractive long-term growth opportunities, namely its product innovation and international expansion. The candy maker holds a great deal of promise for the patient investor.