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Price Hikes Boost Hershey’s 2Q

Hershey Co. lifted its profit outlook for the year Thursday after raising prices had boosted second-quarter net income 4 percent.

HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) — Hershey Co. lifted its profit outlook for the year Thursday after raising prices had boosted second-quarter net income 4 percent.

For the period ended July 1, Hershey earned $135.7 million, or 59 cents per share. A year earlier profit was $130 million, or 56 cents per share.

Stripping out pension expenses, charges related to an acquisition and other items, earnings were 66 cents per share, beating Wall Street analysts' prediction of 61 cents, according to FactSet.

Revenue rose 6 percent to $1.41 billion from $1.33 billion, driven by price increases and strong sales during Easter, which increased market share. Wall Street's estimate was $1.42 billion.

But the price increases weighed on volume, which fell 1 percent. The company said that "brand building" was helping offset the impact of raising prices, and it expects to spend more on advertising this year to support new products as well as existing brands. Hershey expects volume growth to recover in the second half — which includes Halloween and the holiday season — and be up for the full year.

Consumers will pay higher prices for candy during Halloween and the Christmas holiday season than they did last year, Hershey said.

The Hershey, Pa., comany lifted its earnings outlook for the year to $3.17 to $3.23 per share from $3.11 to $3.17 per share, as price increases help offset higher prices for raw materials. It maintained revenue guidance of $6.51 billion to $6.62 billion.

Analysts forecast earnings of $3.21 per share on revenue of $6.58 billion.

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