Hershey earnings at risk from higher cocoa costs, says Piper Sandler
Ivory Coast and Ghana, which together produce over 60% of the global cocoa supply, have formed a partnership and plan to increase the price of cocoa by $400 per metric ton applying to product in the October 2020 crop and beyond, adding risk to Hershey's 2021 earnings estimates, Piper Sandler analyst Michael Lavery tells investors in a research note. All else equal, the impact could be as much as a 45c hit to the company's earnings per share, adds the analyst, though he expects "some puts and takes" and trim his 2021 earnings per share estimate by 15c to $6.35. He raised his price target for Hershey shares to $134 from $130 and reiterates an Underweight rating on the name. Lavery expects 1%-2% organic revenue growth and 5%-6% average earnings growth for Hershey over the next three years.