No. 9: Hershey
Return as of 3/30: -0.7%
Investor: Jon Markman
Hershey (NYSE:HSY) managed to climb out of the doghouse but still is slightly down on the year. However, Jon Markman remains confident about the company’s prospects for the rest of the year, especially considering Hershey’s stability.
Ironically, stability was far from the norm for HSY shares during the first quarter, with a great deal of volatility coming in late February and early March.
And Hershey’s perceived stability proved less boon and more blight, as investors actually shunned defensive stocks like utilities and other dividend-payers in search for growth during the quarter.
Still, fourth-quarter earnings were a bright spot, which Markman pointed out early last month:
“The firm went 4-for-4, increasing earnings and revenues, and lifting both the dividend and 2012 guidance. Plus, Hershey’s focus on expanding international sales paid off, as it reported 25% growth in its top targeted markets: Mexico, China, Brazil and India.”
Markman also points out that while Hershey might look like a steady Eddie, it has some growth to brag about: namely, average earnings growth of 26.4% over the past three years!
All in all, Hershey could look plenty attractive to investors should the charging bull market finally lose its legs.