Deutsche Bank analyst Eric Katzman noted that executive changes come at an uncertain time for Hershey as the company faces soaring commodity prices for cocoa, sugar and milk -- headwinds that led it to cut costs.
West helped improve sales growth at Hershey since he took over the company in 2007, but has since butted heads with the company's controlling trust, opposing entreaties to counter Kraft Foods ( KFT) successful acquisition of Cadbury. "This is a significant negative development for Hershey," Katzman said. "It will be difficult for Hershey to recruit as capable a CEO near- to intermediate-term." Wells Fargo analyst Eric Serotta noted that "Hershey is still well-positioned to deliver better-than-expected sales and earnings growth over the next few years, driven by strong momentum from its core brands, new products, productivity savings and international growth." In late April
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