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UPDATE: Hershey Posts Downbeat Q3 Earnings, Lowers Full-Year Forecast

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The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter profit and lowered its full-year earnings forecast.

The Hershey, Pennsylvania-based company posted quarterly net earnings of $223.7 million, or $1 per share, versus a year-ago profit of $233 million, or $1.03 per share. Excluding non-recurring items, the company's adjusted earnings came in at $1.05 per share.

Its revenue climbed to $1.96 billion from $1.85 billion. However, analysts were expecting earnings of $1.08 per share on revenue of $1.97 billion.

North America net sales rose 4.2%, while international net sales gained 18.4%.

Adjusted gross margin shrank 240 basis points in the quarter.

John P. Bilbrey, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Hershey Company said, “As expected, third-quarter U.S. marketplace performance was solid as we gained market share across all segments - chocolate, non-chocolate candy, gum and mint - and essentially throughout every quad. Halloween seasonal orders and net sales were slightly better than our estimates. While preliminary, Nielsen data indicates Halloween sell through is on track and that we will gain market share in this important season.”

Hershey now expects 2014 adjusted earnings of $4.01 to $4.03 per share, versus its earlier forecast of $4.05 to $4.13 per share.

For 2015, Hershey now projects adjusted earnings of $4.37 to $4.47 per share, versus analysts' estimates of $4.48 per share. It projects full-year 2015 net sales to rise around 7% to 9%.

Hershey shares gained 0.73% to close at $95.53 yesterday.

Posted-In: profitEarnings News Guidance


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