Hershey's Profit Beats Estimates as Costs Drop

Chocolate maker Hershey Co reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit as lower commodity prices and cost cutting boosted margins.

The maker of Kit Kat, Twizzlers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups benefited from lower cocoa prices, which fell to an 11-month low in March.

Hershey's gross margin rose 2.4 percentage points to 46.5 percent in the quarter ended March 31.

On an adjusted basis, the candymaker earned $1.09 per share, 5 cents more than analysts had estimated on average.

The candymaker posted a 6 percent increase in revenue to $1.83 billion, driven by higher sales in the United States, its largest market, and the introduction of Brookside Foods Ltd products into its line-up.

Analysts were looking for revenue of $1.84 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The net income rose to $241.9 million, or $1.06 per share, from $198.7 million, or 87 cents per share, a year earlier.