Hershey Posts Higher 1Q Profit, Sweetens Full-Year Outlook

Industrials Reuters

Hershey Co reported higher-than-expected first-quarter profit on Tuesday, helped by price increases, and raised its full-year outlook.

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The maker of Reese's peanut butter cups, Twizzlers and Kit Kat bars said it expects 2012 earnings of $3.11 per share to $3.17 per share, excluding one-time items.

Its prior forecast called for adjusted earnings was $3.08 to $3.14.

The company said it expects full-year net sales to rise 7 percent to 9 percent, which is up slightly from its prior estimate of a 6.5 to 8.5 percent increase.

For the first quarter, ended on April 1, Hershey reported net profit of $198.7 million, or 87 cents per share, up from $160.1 million, or 70 cents per share, a year earlier.

Excluding items, earnings were 96 cents per share.

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On that basis, analysts on average were expecting 81 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Net sales rose to $1.73 billion from $1.56 billion a year earlier.

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