Market Commentary

Hershey’s Sweet Q1 Report Coincides With Lawmaker’s Purchase

Aisha Khan
6 May 2024 · 2 minutes read

The Hershey Co (HSY:US) outperformed predictions from financial analysts on its sales and profit in the first quarter. This success was fueled by increased prices for its products and consistent consumer demand for chocolates and candy. 

The chocolate and candy maker disclosed first-quarter diluted earnings per share (EPS) of $3.89, marking a 36.5% increase year-on-year. Sales of confectionery items in North America experienced a substantial rise of 10.4%, while sales of salty snacks in the same region saw a more modest increase of 1.9%. Internationally, sales also grew by 1.8%.

Coinciding with this was the purchase of HSY’s shares by Congresswoman, Marjorie Taylor Greene. The Texan Representative bought HSY shares along with 17 other stocks and ETFs as per a trade disclosure released on May 2; a day before Hershey’s earnings announcement. In total, she bought up to 80 shares valued between $1,001 and $15,000. 

Other U.S. politicians who recently traded in HSY included Rep. Ro Khanna and Rep. Dan Newhouse who stocked up on Mar 25 and Apr 10 respectively. Rep. Rick Larsen sold HSY shares on Jan 9, as per his first filing disclosed in 2024. 

HSY stock closed 6.32% higher in the week ending prior to the earnings announcement. 

Michele Buck, the company’s President and CEO said, “We are off to a strong start and remain on track to deliver our business strategies and financial commitments for the year.” She also added that the company is braced for cocoa volatility that is currently shaking the chocolate industry in 2024. In recent months, cocoa’s price consistently reached unprecedented levels, with cocoa futures surpassing $11,000 per metric ton this week, marking nearly a quadruple increase from a year ago. This was also brought about by the decline in production by Côte d’Ivoire and Ghana; the largest producers of cocoa beans.