Hershey upgraded to Neutral from Sell at Goldman Sachs
Goldman Sachs analyst Jason English upgraded Hershey to Neutral from Sell and raised his price target for the shares to $142 from $86. The analyst confirmed with industry sources and Hershey management that Mars has announced a 9.0%-9.5% price increase on single-serve chocolate while also announcing that it is following Hershey's previously announced lead to raise seasonal chocolate prices for this upcoming Halloween selling season. He expects Hershey to announce that it is following Mars' lead on single-serve chocolate when it reports earnings next week. A 9.5% price increase can add 84c of earnings power to the company's annual earnings per share, according to English. This is "material new information" for Hershey, as single-serve chocolate represents roughly $2.3B of the company's sales, the analyst tells investors in a research note. He raised his estimates upgraded the shares to reflect this new information.