Hershey Co. reported a second-quarter profit and earnings beat on Wednesday and announced an increase in its quarterly dividend. Earnings for the latest quarter rose to $203.5 million, or 95 cents per share, from $146.0 million, or 68 cents per share in the year-earlier period. Adjusted earnings-per-share were $1.09, compared with the FactSet consensus of 90 cents. Revenue rose to $1.66 million from $1.64 million, above the FactSet consensus of $1.65 million. For 2017, the company expects retail industry challenges to lower its full-year 2017 net sales growth to around 1% from the previous guidance of 2% to 3%. This will result in "no change" to Hershey's full-year outlook because of an increase in adjusted gross margin, the company said, reaffirming its adjusted EPS guidance of $4.72 to $4.81. Hershey also said it raised its quarterly dividend by 6% to about 66 cents on common stock and about 60 cents on class B stock. Hershey shares were up 0.24% in premarket trade. Shares have declined 0.1% over the last three months to $107.44, compared with a 3.8% rise in the S&P 500 .
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