Hershey Posts Second-quarter Loss On Charges, Weakness In China

By Ciara LinnaneMarketWatch Pulse

The Hershey Co. said Friday it had a net loss of $99.9 million, or 47 cents a share, in the second quarter, after a profit of $168.2 million, or 75 cents a share, in the year-earlier period, weighed down by impairment charges relating to a restructuring and weakness in China. Adjusted per-share earnings came to 78 cents a share, ahead of the FactSet consensus of 75 cents. The chocolate maker said sales came to $1.58 billion, slightly higher than a year ago, but below the FactSet consensus of $1.62 billion. "U.S. results were slightly ahead of our expectations with year-to-date combined candy, mint and gum (CMG) market share up 0.1 points," Chief Executive John Bilbrey said in a statement. "Results were adversely impacted by international performance, primarily in China." Looking ahead, the company is expecting full-year net sales to rise 1.5% to 2.5%, while adjusted EPS is expected to rise 3% to 5%. "The continued rollout of new products as well as solid Halloween and Holiday orders provide good visibility into our net sales outlook over the remainder of the year, particularly in North America," said Bilbrey. Shares were not yet active in premarket trade, but are down 11.3% in the year so far, while the s&P 500 has gained 1.2%.

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