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Ex-Dividend Stocks: Costco, Hershey

Stocks in this article: HSYCOSTCCLSMGRHIATOEFXNUSTLM

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Hershey

The chocolate company reported on April 24 first-quarter earnings of $198.7 million, or 87 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $160.1 million, or 70 cents.

"Buy HSY to be rewarded by above consensus earnings progression over the next two years," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a May 16 report. "We raise our FY13/FY14 EPS estimates to $3.66/$4.00, from $3.59/$3.71, 1%/4%/6% ahead of the Street. Our path to $4 in 2014 anticipates abatement of input cost inflation in FY13, a return to normalized category growth in North America next year and continued momentum in HSY's emerging markets. A more bullish outlook can be constructed with (1) assumption of cost deflation or (2) more aggressive cash deployment assumptions."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.2%






Carnival

"We downgrade shares of Carnival to Neutral from Buy," Goldman Sachs analysts wrote in a May 4 report. "At current levels, the potential for either a capital allocation story or cost cutting program is low and would likely not be big enough to offset the uncertainty of future earnings and the state of the European consumer. We lower our price target to $32 from $36 and apply a target multiple of 14.5X (versus 15.6X prior). Since adding CCL to the Americas Buy List on September 29, 2010 the shares are down 16.1% vs. the S&P 500 up 21.6%. Over the last twelve months, CCL shares are down 16.2% vs. the S&P 500 up 2.6%."

Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 3.2%

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