Hershey Stock Looks Sweet After Double Upgrade

Most of Wall Street still remains skeptical on the stock, which could lead to more bull notes

by Lillian Currens

Published on Mar 25, 2020 at 10:15 AM

Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) is getting a boost this morning, up 3.4% at $4.08 after Piper Sandler upgraded the packaged foods producer to "overweight" from "underweight," and hiked its price target to $138 from $134 -- a 13% premium to last night's close. The analyst said Hershey will likely benefit from the heavy amount of retail traffic and consumer demand related to the coronavirus. 

Coming into today, only one analyst considered HSY a "strong buy," while 13 said "hold" and one said "strong sell," which could leave the door wide open for even more upgrades. Meanwhile, the consensus 12-month target price of $146.80 is a 20.4% premium to last night's close. 

Short sellers have also been piling on the security. In the last two reporting periods, short interest climbed 19.5%. Despite the climb, the 3.12 million shares sold short represent a slim 2.1% of HSY's available float, and a little over three days at the stock's average pace of trading. 

While the equity hasn't been immune to the selloff felt by the broader market during the last few months, HSY appears to be back on the mend. A solid layer of support emerged at the $110 region, which is home to its 2018 peak. Plus, the equity is still trading atop its year-over-year breakeven, up over 8% in the past 12 months. 

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