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

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Hershey (HSY) closed the most recent trading day at $218.11, moving +1.49% from the previous trading session. The stock outpaced the S&P 500's daily gain of 0.95%. At the same time, the Dow added 0.64%, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq gained 0.15%.

Coming into today, shares of the chocolate bar and candy maker had gained 1.64% in the past month. In that same time, the Consumer Staples sector lost 1.09%, while the S&P 500 lost 3.49%.

Investors will be hoping for strength from Hershey as it approaches its next earnings release. In that report, analysts expect Hershey to post earnings of $1.66 per share. This would mark year-over-year growth of 12.93%. Our most recent consensus estimate is calling for quarterly revenue of $2.22 billion, up 11.59% from the year-ago period.

HSY's full-year Zacks Consensus Estimates are calling for earnings of $8.03 per share and revenue of $9.97 billion. These results would represent year-over-year changes of +11.84% and +11.11%, respectively.

Investors should also note any recent changes to analyst estimates for Hershey. These revisions help to show the ever-changing nature of near-term business trends. As a result, we can interpret positive estimate revisions as a good sign for the company's business outlook.

Based on our research, we believe these estimate revisions are directly related to near-team stock moves. To benefit from this, we have developed the Zacks Rank, a proprietary model which takes these estimate changes into account and provides an actionable rating system.

The Zacks Rank system, which ranges from #1 (Strong Buy) to #5 (Strong Sell), has an impressive outside-audited track record of outperformance, with #1 stocks generating an average annual return of +25% since 1988. Over the past month, the Zacks Consensus EPS estimate has moved 0.24% lower. Hershey currently has a Zacks Rank of #3 (Hold).

In terms of valuation, Hershey is currently trading at a Forward P/E ratio of 26.75. Its industry sports an average Forward P/E of 24.76, so we one might conclude that Hershey is trading at a premium comparatively.

Also, we should mention that HSY has a PEG ratio of 3.49. The PEG ratio is similar to the widely-used P/E ratio, but this metric also takes the company's expected earnings growth rate into account. The Food - Confectionery was holding an average PEG ratio of 3.49 at yesterday's closing price.

The Food - Confectionery industry is part of the Consumer Staples sector. This group has a Zacks Industry Rank of 54, putting it in the top 22% 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.

Make sure to utilize Zacks.com to follow all of these stock-moving metrics, and more, in the coming trading sessions.

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