52-Week Dividend Increase: 15.5%
52-Week Stock Appreciation: 31%
Dividend Yield: 2%
It’s been a very nice one-year run for candy maker Hershey (HSY), culminating in a sweet 15.5% dividend increase to 48.5 cents just last week, Hershey’s’ 18th consecutive annual improvement to its payout.
As for its screaming stock price, Hershey knows the secret: People really like candy and sweets. Among Hershey’s brands: Its namesake Hershey, Reese’s, Twizzlers and Kit-Kat. Hershey’s 2012 acquisition of Canadaian confectionery Brookside Foods has also helped extend its product reach.
Hershey has made big improvements on both the top and bottom lines over the past half-decade, including doubling its earnings over that time. 2013 looks like another solid year, with its second-quarter results showing a nearly 7% YOY rise in revenues and a 17% improvement in profits. The company also indicated it expects that 7% revenue rise to stay steady throughout the remainder of the year, with net income at a 14% increase for 2013.
Hershey’s yield isn’t anything to scream about, but it’s a nice sweetener on top of what has been nice share appreciation for some time.