Hershey says 2014 profit will be at low end of forecast; raising prices on candy

Candy maker Hershey Co. says its 2014 profit will be around the low end of its earlier forecast and as costs rise, and it is raising prices.

The company said Tuesday that its own prices for cocoa, dairy and nuts have risen since the beginning of the year, and it expects increases for packaging, fuel and other costs.

It's raising prices for most of its products about 8 percent, on average. The price hike will take time to work into the market, and so the company doesn't expect it will help 2014 results much.

The company said that it expects earnings, excluding one-time items, of $4.05 to $4.13 per share, at the low end of its previous forecast. Analysts were expecting $4.10 per share, according to a FactSet survey. Sales will growth will be around the low end of its long-term target of 5 percent to 7 percent, the company said.

For the quarter that ended on June 29, Hershey expects adjusted profit of 75 cents to 77 cents per share. Analysts were expecting 76 cents per share. It forecast revenue growth of 4.5 percent. The company will announce full results for the quarter on July 24.

The shares fell 33 cents to close at $94.66 before the announcement.