HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania (AP) — After yet another strong quarter for Hershey, the second-largest U.S. candymaker raised its outlook for the full year Tuesday, predicting that sales will rise by 6 percent and earnings will jump by 10 percent.
The Hershey Co. nearly tripled its second-quarter profit, largely because of one-time costs that dampened profits a year ago. But the company also posted strong sales, higher prices, better foreign currency exchange rates and some earlier-than-expected orders. Second-quarter profit hit $130 million, or 56 cents a share. Analysts had expected 55 cents per share.
"I'm pleased with Hershey's second quarter results as solid marketplace momentum continued, resulting in strong overall financial performance," said John P. Bilbrey, who became Hershey's president and chief executive officer just six weeks ago.
The Hershey, Pennsylvania-based company, famous for its chocolate bars, Hershey's Kisses and Reese's peanut butter cups, reported earnings of $46.7 million, or 20 cents per share, a year ago. However, discounting charges for restructuring and to write down the value of a joint venture in India, the company said it would have earned 51 cents per share last year.
Revenue rose 7.5 percent to more than $1.3 billion. After accounting for a one-time credit of $1.8 million, it met Wall Street's expectations.
Previously, Hershey had forecast 2011 sales to rise by 3 percent to 5 percent and profit to rise by 6 percent to 8 percent.
Hershey said it would raise prices by nearly 10 percent earlier this year as it sought to offset rising prices for raw materials including sugar, fuel and packaging. Those prices aren't expected to trickle down to store shelves until next year.