The Hershey Co Valuation – January 2019 $HSY

Company Profile (excerpt from Reuters): The Hershey Company, incorporated on October 24, 1927, is a producer of chocolate in North America. The Company’s principal product offerings include chocolate and non-chocolate confectionery products; gum and mint refreshment products; pantry items, such as baking ingredients, toppings and beverages, and snack items, such as spreads, meat snacks, bars and snack bites and mixes. Its segments include North America, and International and Other. As of December 31, 2016, the Company marketed, sold and distributed its products under more than 80 brand names in approximately 70 countries around the world.


Downloadable PDF version of this valuation:

ModernGraham Valuation of HSY – January 2019

Stage 1: Is this company suitable for the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor?

What kind of Intelligent Investor are you?

Defensive Investor; must pass 6 out of the following 7 tests.
1. Adequate Size of the Enterprise Market Cap > $2Bil $21,882,954,180 Pass
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 2 1.01 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 10 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Dividend Payments for 10 years prior Pass
5. Earnings Growth Increase of 33% in EPS in past 10 years using 3 year averages at beginning and end 78.25% Pass
6. Moderate PEmg Ratio PEmg < 20 26.46 Fail
7. Moderate Price to Assets PB Ratio < 2.5 OR PB*PEmg < 50 17.59 Fail
Enterprising Investor; must pass 4 out of the following 5 tests, or be suitable for the Defensive Investor.
1. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Current Ratio > 1.5 1.01 Fail
2. Sufficiently Strong Financial Condition Debt to NCA < 1.1 92.39 Fail
3. Earnings Stability Positive EPS for 5 years prior Pass
4. Dividend Record Currently Pays Dividend Pass
5. Earnings Growth EPSmg greater than 5 years ago Pass


Stage 2: Determination of Intrinsic Value

EPSmg $3.94
MG Growth Estimate 2.86%
MG Value $56.05
Opinion Overvalued
MG Grade D
MG Value based on 3% Growth $57.15
MG Value based on 0% Growth $33.50
Market Implied Growth Rate 8.98%
Current Price $104.30
% of Intrinsic Value 186.07%

Hershey Co does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should explore other opportunities at this time or proceed cautiously with a speculative attitude.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Overvalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $3.31 in 2014 to an estimated $3.94 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth does not support the market’s implied estimate of 8.98% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value below the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Hershey Co revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $22.56. The company pays a dividend of $2.55 per share, for a yield of 2.4%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 26.46, which was above the industry average of 25.75. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-18.

Hershey Co scores quite poorly in the ModernGraham grading system, with an overall grade of D.

Stage 3: Information for Further Research

Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) -$18.00
Graham Number $22.56
PEmg 26.46
Current Ratio 1.01
PB Ratio 17.59
Current Dividend $2.55
Dividend Yield 2.44%
Number of Consecutive Years of Dividend Growth 8

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Most Recent Balance Sheet Figures

Balance Sheet Information 9/1/2018
Total Current Assets $2,794,046,000
Total Current Liabilities $2,758,826,000
Long-Term Debt $3,253,879,000
Total Assets $7,836,189,000
Intangible Assets $2,806,398,000
Total Liabilities $6,586,917,000
Shares Outstanding (Diluted Average) 210,681,000

Earnings Per Share History

EPS History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $5.21
Dec2017 $3.66
Dec2016 $3.34
Dec2015 $2.32
Dec2014 $3.77
Dec2013 $3.61
Dec2012 $2.89
Dec2011 $2.74
Dec2010 $2.21
Dec2009 $1.90
Dec2008 $1.36
Dec2007 $0.93
Dec2006 $2.34
Dec2005 $1.97
Dec2004 $2.24
Dec2003 $1.73
Dec2002 $1.47
Dec2001 $0.75
Dec2000 $1.18
Dec1999 $1.63
Dec1998 $1.17

Earnings Per Share – ModernGraham History

EPSmg History
Next Fiscal Year Estimate $3.94
Dec2017 $3.32
Dec2016 $3.16
Dec2015 $3.07
Dec2014 $3.31
Dec2013 $2.94
Dec2012 $2.48
Dec2011 $2.13
Dec2010 $1.80
Dec2009 $1.63
Dec2008 $1.58
Dec2007 $1.74
Dec2006 $2.08
Dec2005 $1.85
Dec2004 $1.68
Dec2003 $1.38
Dec2002 $1.22

Recommended Reading:

Other ModernGraham posts about the company

Hershey Co Valuation – March 2018 $HSY
5 Speculative and Overvalued Companies to Avoid – July 2016
Hershey Co Valuation – July 2016 $HSY
58 Companies in the Spotlight This Week – 1/31/15
Hershey Company Annual Valuation – 2015 $HSY

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The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing that position within the next 72 hours.  See my current holdings here.  This article is not investment advice; any reader should speak to a registered investment adviser prior to making any investment decisions.  ModernGraham is not affiliated with the company in any manner.  Please be sure to review our detailed disclaimer.

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