Analysts remain on the sidelines
Most of the analysts covering Hershey (HSY) stock continue to maintain a neutral outlook. Hershey’s top line will likely improve due to acquisitions, brand investments, and new product launches. Higher pricing in 2019 will likely support the top line. Hershey’s cost-cutting measures and easy YoY (year-over-year) comps are expected to drive its margins.
Higher sales and margins are expected to drive Hershey’s bottom line. The lower tax rate should cushion the company’s bottom line.
However, trade spending and inflation in commodities and transportation costs are expected have a negative impact on Hershey. Higher interest expenses will likely be a drag.
Rating and target price summary
Among the 17 analysts covering Hershey stock, 11 recommend a “hold,” three recommend a “buy,” and three recommend a “sell.” Analysts have a consensus target price of $102.81 per share on Hershey stock, which implies a downside of 5.1% based on its closing price of $108.31 on January 22.
Analysts maintain a neutral outlook on other major food companies including Kellogg (K), General Mills (GIS), and J.M. Smucker (SJM). Increased interest expenses and pressure on the margins are expected to hurt the companies’ financials. Analysts maintain a “buy” rating on Mondelēz (MDLZ), Conagra Brands (CAG), and Kraft Heinz (KHC) stock.