Breaking News
FONT-SIZE Plus   Neg
Share SHARE

Hershey Q4 Profit Rises, Meets View; Sees Higher Results In FY12 - Update

RELATED NEWS
Trade HSY now with 

Chocolate and confectionery products maker Hershey Co. (HSY: Quote) reported Wednesday a higher profit for its fourth quarter on higher volumes and price increases, despite lower margin. Adjusted earnings per share came in line with view, while sales topped estimates. Looking ahead, the company projects higher earnings and sales for fiscal 2012.

fourth-quarter reported net income grew to $142.13 million or $0.62 per share from last year's $135.51 million or $0.59 per share.

The latest quarter results included net pre-tax charges of $27.7 million or $0.08 per share primarily related to the Project Next Century program, while prior year's charges were $7.9 million or $0.02 per share.

Adjusted earnings, which excluded these charges, rose 14.8 percent to $159.64 million or $0.70 per share from $140.38 million or $0.61 per share a year earlier.

On average, 13 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected earnings per share of $0.70 for the quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude one-time items.

Consolidated net sales increased 5.7 percent to $1.57 billion from with $1.48 billion for the 2010 fourth quarter, while analysts estimated revenue of $1.56 billion.

For the quarter, gross margin declined 150 basis points to 40.3 percent and income before interest and income taxes or EBIT margin fell 80 basis points to 14.6 percent. Adjusted gross margin also declined 50 basis points, while adjusted EBIT margin grew from last year.

The company said it achieved productivity and cost savings goals in the quarter, but these initiatives and the net price realization were more than offset by higher input and supply chain costs.

President and Chief Executive Officer John Bilbrey stated, "Hershey's fourth quarter represents a solid finish to 2011 and we expect to carry our momentum into 2012. Net price realization, primarily in the U.S., was a 5.9 point benefit. As expected, volume improved from last quarter, slightly greater than our expectations, increasing 0.4 points."

For the full year 2011, adjusted net income grew 10.6 percent to $648.73 million or $2.82 per share and sales rose 7.2 percent to $6.08 billion.

Looking ahead for 2012, the company anticipates earnings per share of $2.79 - $2.89 and adjusted earnings per share of $3.08 - $3.14. Analysts project earnings per share of $3.13 for 2012.

Full-year adjusted earnings per share are expected to increase 9-11 percent and net sales are expected to increase 5 percent - 7 percent.

Bilbrey further said, "We have good visibility into our full-year cost structure and, despite higher input costs in 2012, we expect adjusted gross margin to increase about 75 basis points driven by productivity and cost savings as well as net price realization."

In a separate statement, Hershey said its Board of Directors announced quarterly dividends of $0.38 on the Common Stock and $0.344 on the Class B Common Stock. The dividends represents a growth of 10 percent and are payable March 15 to stockholders of record February 24.

In pre-market activity, HSY shares are currently trading at $60.87, down $0.21 or 0.34 percent.

by RTT Staff Writer

For comments and feedback: editorial@rttnews.com

Business News

Editors Pick
A number of major retailers will be open on Thanksgiving for early Black Friday shopping events. Kohl's department stores will kick off Black Friday sales two hours earlier this year, at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day, while Macy's, Bon-Ton and Best Buy will open at the same time. J.C. Penney and Sears... Twitter Inc. has replaced its head of product Daniel Graf just six months after luring him over from Google, according to multiple reports. Graf, previously known for his work leading Google Maps, will retain his vice president of product title and work on Twitter's geolocation features, the Wall... LinkedIn Corp., the world's largest online professional network, said Thursday after the markets closed that its third quarter loss widened slightly from last year, as higher costs and expenses more than offset a 45% increase in revenue. However, the company's quarterly earnings per share, excluding items, came in above analysts' expectations as did its quarterly revenue.
comments powered by Disqus
FREE Newsletters, Analysis & Alerts

 

Stay informed with our FREE daily Newsletters and real-time breaking News Alerts. Sign up to receive the latest information on business news, health, technology, biotech, market analysis, currency trading and more.