Home Mutual Funds Hershey Beats Earnings Estimates as Sales in North America Jump

Hershey Beats Earnings Estimates as Sales in North America Jump

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Key Takeaways

  • Hershey reported better-than-expected earnings and revenue for the first quarter on higher prices and demand for sweets in its North American market.
  • Volumes were up for North American confectionaries and salty snacks, but fell internationally.
  • Shares were little changed in early trading Friday as the chocolate giant gave tepid guidance, maintaining earlier projections.

Hershey (HSY) posted better-than-expected results for the first quarter on higher prices and demand for sweets in its North American market.

Earnings, Revenue Beat Analysts’ Estimates

The maker of Hershey Kisses, Milk Duds, and Skinny Pop popcorn reported first-quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $3.89, an increase of 36.5% from the year-ago period, with revenue rising 8.9% to $3.25 billion. Both were above analyst estimates compiled by Visible Alpha.

North American confectionary sales jumped 10.4%, while sales of salty snacks in North America climbed 1.9%. International sales advanced 1.8%.

Volumes were up for North American confectionaries and salty snacks, but fell internationally. Organic volume/mix in North American confectionary snacks jumped 4.5%, while it rose 0.2% for salty snacks. By contrast, organic volume/mix fell 4.8% internationally.

Hershey said prices were 5.2% higher overall than they were a year ago.

Cocoa Market Volatility

CEO Michele Buck said Hershey was “off to a strong start” of the year, and addressed the volatile cocoa market, saying Hershey has “dedicated resources and strong investments in place to ensure we have a resilient supply chain for the future.”

“We are well covered for 2024 and do not expect recent volatility to affect our financial outlook for the year,” she said.

Hershey Maintains Full-Year Outlook

Despite the better-than-expected first-quarter performance, Hershey did not change its full-year outlook, maintaining its projection of a 2% to 3% increase in sales and unchanged adjusted EPS from 2023. 

Hershey shares were little changed in early trading Friday following the release at $196.01 as of 11 a.m. ET. They’ve gained about 5% so far this year.

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