Hershey Co on Friday beat quarterly profit and sales estimates and reinstated its full-year outlook boosted by strong Halloween sales and demand for chocolate chips and cocoa powder from people taking up baking while stuck at home due to virus-driven lockdowns.
The company said its US retail sales rose 6.6% in the quarter to 4 October, driven by strong sales of Hershey's chocolate brands, which increased 9.8%, and baking items including peanut butter, syrup, chips and cocoa, which rose 15.7%.
Demand was also boosted by kids and their parents who bought more Twizzlers, Jolly Ranchers and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups online at a time social distancing restrictions meant fewer trips to grocery stores and spending Halloween at home instead of going trick-or-treating.
Net sales rose 4% to $2.22 billion (€1.9 billion) in the third quarter ended 27 September, beating analysts expectations of $2.16 billion (€1.8 billion), according to IBES data from Refinitiv.
Excluding items, the company earned $1.86 per share, handily beating expectations of $1.72, per Refinitiv data.
The company also reinstated its full-year outlook that it had pulled in April saying it expects full-year net sales to rise about 1% and adjusted earnings per share to rise between 7% to 8%.
The adjusted earnings forecast translates to $6.18 to $6.24 per share, above estimates of $6.03 per share.