Hershey 4Q profit up, meets analysts' estimates

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 30, 2014 at 6:57 am •  Published: January 30, 2014
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HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) — Hershey's fourth-quarter net income rose 24 percent, bolstered by higher volumes in North America and internationally.

The candy company's adjusted earnings matched Wall Street's view, while revenue topped analysts' estimates.

For the period ended Dec. 31, the Hershey, Pa., company earned $186.1 million, or 82 cents per share. That compares with $149.9 million, or 66 cents per share, a year earlier.

Taking out acquisition-related costs and other items, earnings were 86 cents per share. This met the expectations of analysts polled by FactSet.

Revenue climbed 12 percent to $1.96 billion from $1.75 billion, topping Wall Street's forecast of $1.89 billion.

Full-year net income rose 24 percent to $820.5 million, or $3.61 per share, from $660.9 million, or $2.89 per share, in the prior year. Adjusted earnings were $3.72 per share. Annual revenue increased 8 percent to $7.15 billion from $6.64 billion.

Hershey Co. maintained its guidance for 2014 adjusted earnings between $4.05 and $4.13 per share. Revenue is still expected to climb 5 percent to 7 percent. Analysts expect full-year earnings of $4.12 per share.

The company also declared a quarterly dividend of 48.5 cents per share on Thursday. The dividend will be paid on March 14 to shareholders of record on Feb. 25.