Not so sweet: Hershey shares fall after weak full-year outlook



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HERSHEY, Pennsylvania — Hershey said Thursday that its fourth-quarter net income fell 8.8 percent as more shoppers bought meat snacks and baked treats instead of its chocolate, candy and mints.

The company's results and earnings outlook for the year missed Wall Street expectations, and its shares fell sharply Thursday.

The Hershey, Pennsylvania-based company said it hopes to appeal to consumer's changing tastes by buying jerky maker Krave Pure Foods Inc. Hershey did not disclose how much it was paying for the privately-held company, which makes jerky in flavors such as black cherry barbecue and lemon garlic.

Hershey reported fourth-quarter net income of $202.5 million, or 91 cents per share, compared with $186.1 million, or 82 cents per share, a year ago.

Earnings, adjusted for asset impairment costs and non-recurring costs, were $1.04 per share. The average estimate of analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.06 per share.

Revenue rose 2.7 percent to $2 million, missing Street forecasts. Analysts expected $2.08 billion, according to Zacks.

For the year, the company reported profit of $846.9 million, or $3.77 per share. Revenue was reported as $7.42 billion.

It expects full-year earnings in the range of $4.30 to $4.38 per share, below the $4.46 per share analysts expected, according to FactSet.

Hershey's brands include Reese's, Kit Kat and Twizzlers.

Its shares fell $8.34, or 7.8 percent, to $99.34 in midday trading Thursday.

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Parts of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on HSY at http://www.zacks.com/ap/HSY

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Keywords: Hershey, Earnings Report

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