Sour on Hershey

Hershey shares fell to a three-week low Thursday after the Pennsylvania chocolate maker reported weak first-quarter earnings and pulled its financial forecast for the year. Hershey’s net sales increased 1% over the same period last year, less than analysts had forecast before the coronavirus shut down the U.S. economy. Despite the lagging headline numbers, CEO Michele Buck said the company benefited from consumers stocking up on
certain products. “Hershey syrup, baking chips, and cocoa all grew approximately 30% during March and trends have remained strong as families are spending more time together at home baking,” Buck said. On the flip side, gum and mint sales were down, with social distancing measures possibly to blame. Shares of Hershey fell 4.5% on Thursday to $136.91, down about 15% from its one-year high of $161.40 on Sept. 4 of last year.