Hershey (HSY) is well-known for being the largest candy maker in North America, but investors shouldn't be discounting this stock's sweet dividend right now. Hershey is the name behind a massive portfolio of confectionary brands that includes Reese's, Kit Kat and Twizzlers in addition to its popular namesake products. In total, the firm boasts more than 80 brands sold in 60 countries.
Unfortunately, the exposure to most of those countries is minimal -- only around 15% of sales come from markets outside of the U.S. While the company does do business in China and India, two particularly attractive markets for growth right now, it hasn't been able to generate material sales numbers from either as of yet. Because of saturation in the U.S. market, Hershey will need to revamp its international efforts if it wants to continue to court growth-conscious investors.In the meantime, the major upside in this stock is the fact that the U.S. market is a mature, large consumer of candy products. That factor creates large cash flows for Hershey, some of which the company passes off to shareholders, in turn. On Wednesday, the firm announced a 10.14% increase in its quarterly dividend, bringing it to 38 cents per share. That's a 2.47% yield at current levels. As of the most recently reported quarter, Hershey was one of the top holdings of Renaissance Technologies.
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