UPDATE: Credit Suisse Downgrades Hershey, Notes Competitive Fears
In a report released Wednesday, Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow downgraded Hershey (NYSE: HSY) from Outperform to Neutral and decreased the price target from $108 to $101.
Moscow expects Hershey to report on the lower end of its guidance from the quarter. Although Hershey has led the market with its competitive advantage, its snack competitors have excelled in the past year.
Credit Suisse analysts fear Hershey's gross margin of 46 percent to fully mature to its full potential, reducing further growth opportunity. In order to protect margins, Hershey announced its decision to increase its prices by eight percent, but large concerns weigh on elasticity multiplying much more than its previous year, due to consumers change in preference to protein, grain and nut-base alternatives.
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