Update (9:50 a.m.): Updated with Tuesday market open information.
NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Credit Suisse raised its target price on Hershey (HSY) to $117 and set an "outperform" rating. The firm noted the company can continue to deliver consistent growth across the globe.
The stock was falling 0.67% to $107.35 shortly after the market opened on Tuesday.
Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates HERSHEY CO as a "buy" with a ratings score of A+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate HERSHEY CO (HSY) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its revenue growth, impressive record of earnings per share growth, compelling growth in net income, solid stock price performance and expanding profit margins. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company is trading at a premium valuation based on our review of its current price compared to such things as earnings and book value."
Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:
- The revenue growth came in higher than the industry average of 0.6%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 11.7%. Growth in the company's revenue appears to have helped boost the earnings per share.
- HERSHEY CO has improved earnings per share by 24.2% in the most recent quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago. The company has demonstrated a pattern of positive earnings per share growth over the past two years. We feel that this trend should continue. During the past fiscal year, HERSHEY CO increased its bottom line by earning $3.61 versus $2.89 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.14 versus $3.61).
- The net income growth from the same quarter one year ago has exceeded that of the S&P 500 and greatly outperformed compared to the Food Products industry average. The net income increased by 24.1% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $149.88 million to $186.08 million.
- Investors have apparently begun to recognize positive factors similar to those we have mentioned in this report, including earnings growth. This has helped drive up the company's shares by a sharp 33.22% over the past year, a rise that has exceeded that of the S&P 500 Index. We feel that the stock's sharp appreciation over the last year has driven it to a price level which is now somewhat expensive compared to the rest of its industry. The other strengths this company shows, however, justify the higher price levels.
- 43.91% is the gross profit margin for HERSHEY CO which we consider to be strong. Regardless of HSY's high profit margin, it has managed to decrease from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 9.51% trails the industry average.
- You can view the full analysis from the report here: HSY Ratings Report