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Hershey Again Gets Support At 10-Week Line

Posted
8/13/2012 6:10:00 PM
By: Investor's Business Daily
Referenced Stocks:HSY;RMCF;TR

After breaking out from a flat base in April,Hershey ( HSY ) has been finding support at its 10-week moving average.

It is now making a third test of the 10-week average as shares face resistance around 72. Trading has been tight in recent weeks, showing institutional support.

The stock has not veered below its 10-week line since breaking out. Hershey dipped to the line in the weeks ended June 8, June 29 and July 27.

The stock sits just shy of an all-time high.

Hershey has a solid Accumulation-Distribution Rating of B+ and hasn't seen a down week in heavy trade in nearly three months.

Earnings at the maker of Almond Joy, Kit Kat, Reese's Pieces and other candies have grown each year since they fell in 2007 and 2008. Hershey has a five-year Earnings Stability Factor of 9, signaling a steady stream of income.

In late July, the candy maker beat expectations with Q2 earnings that grew 18% to 66 cents a share. It topped expectations by a nickel. Sales rose 7% to $1.41 billion, but slightly missed views.

The company's gross margin climbed 110 basis points to 43.7% as price hikes help offset higher costs of ingredients.

Hershey also hiked its full-year profit growth forecast to 12% to 14% from 10% to 12%. It expects revenue to rise 7% to 9%.

Hershey pays an annualized dividend of $1.52 a share, which works out to a yield of about 2.1%.

The dividend has a 5% growth rate, according to IBD data. The most recent increase was announced in February, when the quarterly payout went to 38 cents a share from 34.5 cents, according to Hershey's website.

The company is only one of three stocks in the Food-Confectionery industry group that pay shareholders dividends.

Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory ( RMCF ) has the highest yield at 3.4%.Tootsie Roll Industries ( TR ) offers the lowest yield at 1.4%.

Hershey will pay the next quarterly installment of its dividend Sept. 14 to shareholders of record Aug. 24. That would mark its 112 consecutive quarterly dividend on its class B common shares.