HSY Stock Defies Annual Patterns, Soars Today

Rocketing to a price of $201.32 during today's afternoon trading session, shares of Hershey are still -5.29% below their average target price of $212.57. Could there be more upside potential for the stock? Analysts are giving HSY an average rating of hold and target prices ranging from $183.0 to $238.0 dollars per share.

It seems the market sentiment regarding Hershey is mostly optimistic, since it has a short interest of only 2.1%. This is the percentage of the share float that is being shorted by investors who are hoping the stock's price will decrease in the future.

When a stock is sold short, it means an investor has borrowed shares of the stock from their broker, and then sold them at the going market price. The investor hopes for the price to decline, so that they might buy those shares back at a lower price in the future. Once they do, they can return the borrowed shares to their broker, and keep the profit they made on the transaction.

One way to get an idea of the market sentiment on a stock is to check its rate of institutional ownership. In the case of Hershey, institutional investors own 80.9% of the shares. This would indicate a positive sentiment towards the stock among institutions. What does this really tell us?

Institutional investors such as hedge funds, investment firms, and wealth managers devote significant resources to identifying good investments. If they have decided to invest in HSY, it probably means they believe it is a solid investment choice. But it could also mean they are buying up shares in an effort to acquire the company or get seats on the board of directors. Also bear in mind that institutions are fallible (just maybe not quite as fallible as the average retail investor), so they may simply be wrong when they think they've found a good stock.

In conclusion, we see mixed market sentiment regarding Hershey because of an analyst consensus of some upside potential, a hold rating, an average amount of shares sold short, and a significant number of institutional investors. At Market Inference, we believe that any investment decision should be preceded by an in-depth analysis of the company's fundamental values and a comparison with similar stocks.

Here's a snapshot of some important facts to keep in mind about HSY:

  • The stock has trailing 12 month earnings per share (EPS) of $9.06

  • Hershey has a trailing 12 month Price to Earnings (P/E) ratio of 22.2 compared to the S&P 500 average of 15.97

  • The company has a Price to Book (P/B) ratio of 10.04 in contrast to the S&P 500's average ratio of 2.95

  • Hershey is a Consumer Staples company, and the sector average P/E and P/B ratios are 21.21 and 4.12 respectively

The above analysis is intended for educational purposes only and was performed on the basis of publicly available data. It is not to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security. Any buy, sell, or other recommendations mentioned in the article are direct quotations of consensus recommendations from the analysts covering the stock, and do not represent the opinions of Market Inference or its writers. Past performance, accounting data, and inferences about market position and corporate valuation are not reliable indicators of future price movements. Market Inference does not provide financial advice. Investors should conduct their own review and analysis of any company of interest before making an investment decision.