Today’s Research Reports on Stocks to Watch: The Hershey and the Kroger

The Hershey Company may not have seen a huge gain on Thursday but did head a little higher this week after the company announced on Wednesday that it would be buying snack food Pirate’s Booty owner B&G Foods for $420 million. Shares of the Kroger Co. skidded during the session yesterday after reporting disappointing comparable sales in the second quarter.

RDI Initiates Coverage on:

The Hershey Company

The Kroger Co.

The Hershey Company shares were up a modest 0.55% yesterday on about a million shares traded. Despite the modest gain, the company had big news this week. Hershey is buying Pirate Brands from B&G Foods Inc. for $420 million in an all-cash deal. This will give Hershey snack brands like Pirate’s Booty, Smart Puffs and Original Tings. “Pirate’s Booty is a leading cheese puffs brand loved by moms and kids as a better-for-you treat,” said Mary Beth West, Hershey’s Chief Growth Officer. “We expect the full Pirate Brands portfolio to be a great fit for Hershey’s growing Amplify business which is targeted toward consumers who are looking for great-tasting snacks without compromise.” B&G plans to use the net proceeds from the sale for repaying its long-term debt and funding possible acquisitions. CEO of B&G Foods, Bob Cantwell, remarked, "Pirate Brands is a terrific business and we believe that it will thrive under the ownership of The Hershey Company."

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The Kroger Co. shares were down almost 10% yesterday on skyrocket volume. The stock traded almost 32.5 million shares compared to an average of about 9.6 million shares. The supermarket operator issued a second-quarter sales numbers that didn’t impress Wall Street. For the second quarter, comparable sales were short of analyst estimates. Not only that but Kroger also warned on future profit growth. Comparable sales saw an improvement of 1.6% but was still behind the 1.8% that analysts had expected. CEO Rodney McMullen stated, "We are only two quarters into our three-year Restock Kroger plan, and we are making solid progress. Kroger customers have more ways than ever to engage with us seamlessly through our recently launched Kroger Ship, expanded availability of Instacart, successful ClickList offering, and selling Simple Truth in China through Alibaba’s Tmall. We feel good about our net earnings per diluted share and ID sales results in the second quarter. We expect our investments in space optimization during the first half of 2018 to become a tailwind late in the third quarter."

Access RDI’s The Kroger Co. Research Report at:

Our Actionable Research on The Hershey Company (NYSE: HSY) and The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) can be downloaded free of charge at Research Driven Investing.

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