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Hershey Reaffirms 2018 Adj. EPS Outlook - Quick Facts

Hershey Co. (HSY) on Thursday reaffirmed its adjusted earnings guidance for the full-year 2018 in the range of $5.33 to $5.43 range, an increase of 14 to 16 percent from 2017.

However, reported earnings are now expected to be in the range of $4.76 to $4.96, compared to the prior guidance range of $4.73 to $4.98 per share.

Full-year net sales are now expected to increase towards the lower end of the updated growth range of 3.5 to 5.5 percent. Earlier, the company projected it to increase towards the lower end of the 5 to 7 percent growth range.

Meanwhile, organic sales growth continues to be towards the low end of the slightly up to 2 percent range.

On average, analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect the company to report earnings of $5.33 per share on sales growth of 5.0 percent to 7.89 billion for the year. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.

For the second quarter, the company reported net income of $226.86 million or $1.08 per share, higher than $203.50 million or $0.95 per share in the prior-quarter. Adjusted earnings per share were $1.14, compared to $1.08 per share in the year-ago quarter.

Consolidated net sales for the quarter grew 5.3 percent to $1.57 billion from the same quarter last year. Acquisitions and foreign currency exchange rates were a 5.9 point and negligible benefit to net sales, respectively.

Analysts expected quarterly earnings of $1.10 per share on sales of 1.74 billion.

Hershey's Board of Directors has also approved a new $500 million stock repurchase authorization.

Separately, the board of directors of Hershey declared 10 percent higher quarterly dividends of $0.722 on the Common Stock and $0.656 on the Class B Common Stock, payable September 14, 2018 to stockholders of record August 24, 2018.

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