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Hershey Raises Dividend By 15% To $1.19 A Share

Chocolate maker Hershey (HSY) has announced that it is raising its quarterly dividend payment to stockholders by 15% to $1.19 U.S. a share.

The new dividend payout will be made to shareholders of record as of August 18 this year and payable on September 15.

Hershey’s Board of Directors also declared a similar increase of 15% to the dividend payable to the company’s Class B common stock, taking that payment up to $1.08 U.S. per share.

Founded in 1894, Hershey has paid an uninterrupted dividend to its shareholders since 1930. The latest increase will bring the dividend yield on Hershey’s stock closer to 2%.

The Pennsylvania-based company, which sells nearly $10 billion U.S. worth of chocolate each year, announced the dividend increase along with its second-quarter earnings.

Hershey said its Q2 profit increased to $407 million U.S., or $1.98 U.S. a share, up nearly 30% from $316 million U.S., or $1.53 U.S. a share, a year earlier.

Analysts had been calling for Q2 earnings of $1.89 U.S. a share.

Revenue in Q2 came in at $2.49 billion U.S., which was slightly below analyst forecasts of $2.50 billion U.S.

Hershey said it expects full-year earnings per share in a range of $9.46 U.S. to $9.54 U.S. a share.

The stock of Hershey has risen 4% over the last 12 months to trade at $233.56 U.S. per share.