NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Hershey (HSY) - Get Report stock was upgraded to "overweight" from "neutral" at JPMorgan on Wednesday morning. The firm upped its price target on the chocolate and candy maker to $100 from $90.
The rating change was based on the firm's belief that the company's risk/reward has become attractive, The Fly reports. Hershey is seeing "strong" top line trends in the U.S., while China represents only 3% of the company's business.
JPMorgan also believes that Hershey will be able to continue to add to its earnings with more acquisitions.
Hershey is a Derry Township, PA-based provider of chocolate and sugar confectionary, whose products can be found all over the world. The company's popular items include the classic Hershey Bar, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey Kisses, Almond Joy, Bliss, Twizzlers and many more.
Shares of Hershey closed at $90.57 on Tuesday afternoon.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates HERSHEY CO as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate HERSHEY CO (HSY) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed-some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, good cash flow from operations and expanding profit margins. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and premium valuation."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- HSY's revenue growth has slightly outpaced the industry average of 8.4%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly increased by 0.0%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displayed by a decline in earnings per share.
- Net operating cash flow has significantly increased by 805.56% to $224.55 million when compared to the same quarter last year. In addition, HERSHEY CO has also vastly surpassed the industry average cash flow growth rate of 9.36%.
- HERSHEY CO has experienced a steep decline in earnings per share in the most recent quarter in comparison to its performance from the same quarter a year ago. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, HERSHEY CO increased its bottom line by earning $3.77 versus $3.61 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.14 versus $3.77).
- The company, on the basis of change in net income from the same quarter one year ago, has significantly underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and the Food Products industry. The net income has significantly decreased by 159.4% when compared to the same quarter one year ago, falling from $168.17 million to -$99.94 million.
- The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 2.10 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company. Along with this, the company manages to maintain a quick ratio of 0.42, which clearly demonstrates the inability to cover short-term cash needs.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: HSY