He upgraded the rating on the company from Neutral to Buy, while reducing the price target from $115 to $110.
Cost Savings Announcement
Driscoll expects Hershey to announce a cost savings program that would yield potential savings between $175-$300 million. The program, encompassing both supply chain and SG&A costs in North America and China, would likely result in operating margin expansion of 250-400bps.
Even after assuming a 100bps reinvestment into the business, the potential operating margin expansion is at 150-300bps from 20.2 percent in 2016. “Our above consensus EPS estimates assume +100bps expansion by 2018, leaving considerable upside to our estimates from the anticipated restructuring program,” Driscoll wrote, adding that each +100bps would add 25 cents per share or 6 percent to EPS.
The analyst mentioned 3 major innovations:
- Cookie Layer Crunch
- Big Kat
- Reese’s Pieces PB cup
These are expected to drive 3 percent sales growth at Hershey starting in Q3, following a couple of lackluster year. Driscoll projected $180 million in revenue contribution from these innovations.
|Oct 2016||Susquehanna||Initiates Coverage On||Neutral|
|Sep 2016||JP Morgan||Assumes||Neutral|
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