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Hershey (HSY) Outpaces Stock Market Gains: What You Should Know

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Hershey (HSY - Free Report) closed at $212.03 in the latest trading session, marking a +1.44% move from the prior day. This change outpaced the S&P 500's 0.67% gain on the day. Elsewhere, the Dow gained 0.25%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 1.14%.

Heading into today, shares of the chocolate bar and candy maker had lost 6.5% over the past month, lagging the Consumer Staples sector's loss of 3.7% and the S&P 500's loss of 0.73% in that time.

Investors will be hoping for strength from Hershey as it approaches its next earnings release. On that day, Hershey is projected to report earnings of $2.47 per share, which would represent year-over-year growth of 13.82%. Meanwhile, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue is projecting net sales of $2.98 billion, up 9.18% from the year-ago period.

HSY's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $9.55 per share and revenue of $11.27 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +12.09% and +8.15%, respectively.

It is also important to note the recent changes to analyst estimates for Hershey. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. With this in mind, we can consider positive estimate revisions a sign of optimism about the company's business outlook.

Our research shows that these estimate changes are directly correlated with near-term stock prices. We developed the Zacks Rank to capitalize on this phenomenon. Our system takes these estimate changes into account and delivers a clear, actionable rating model.

The Zacks Rank system ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell). It has a remarkable, outside-audited track record of success, with #1 stocks delivering an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.08% higher. Hershey is currently a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Digging into valuation, Hershey currently has a Forward P/E ratio of 21.89. This valuation marks a no noticeable deviation compared to its industry's average Forward P/E of 21.89.

It is also worth noting that HSY currently has a PEG ratio of 2.56. This popular metric is similar to the widely-known P/E ratio, with the difference being that the PEG ratio also takes into account the company's expected earnings growth rate. Food - Confectionery stocks are, on average, holding a PEG ratio of 2.66 based on yesterday's closing prices.

The Food - Confectionery industry is part of the Consumer Staples sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 106, putting it in the top 43% of all 250+ industries.

The Zacks Industry Rank gauges the strength of our individual industry groups by measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the groups. Our research shows that the top 50% rated industries outperform the bottom half by a factor of 2 to 1.

Be sure to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and many more, on

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