third-quarter sales rose 3.3% year over year, but the chocolate maker said the results were disappointing and it took a somewhat cautious stance on its full-year profits.
Sales for the quarter ended Oct. 1 rose to $1.41 billion from $1.37 billion a year ago. Reported net income was $183.7 million, or 77 cents a share, up from $114.2 million and 46 cents for the same period last year.
Excluding items, Hershey would have earned 78 cents in the latest quarter
"Hershey's results for the third quarter were below expectations," said Richard Lenny, chairman, president and chief executive. "Following a period of sustained in-market success, we experienced a slowdown in consumer takeaway and thus, a loss of market share." He added that "seasonal performance continues to be strong with Halloween off to a good start."
Looking ahead, Hershey expects net sales growth for 2006 to be within its long-term 3% to 4% growth range and the increase in diluted earnings per share from operations to be slightly below its 9% to 11% expectations.
For 2007, the company projected that both revenue and earnings would be in the range of its long-term goals.