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Hershey beats Q3 earnings expectations, lifts FY'19 sales guidance

The Hershey Co.'s third-quarter adjusted EPS and net income beat analysts' expectations Oct. 24 as the food company raised sales guidance for its full 2019 fiscal year.

For the three months to Sept. 29, non-GAAP diluted EPS rose 3.9% to $1.61, beating the S&P Global Market Intelligence mean consensus estimate for normalized EPS of $1.60. Non-GAAP net income of $340.3 million surpassed analysts' estimate for net income excluding exceptions of $336.1 million, according to Market Intelligence.

The company raised its net sales growth expectation for 2019 to 2.5%, up from 2%, citing its acquisition of protein bar maker ONE Brands. Hershey said it still expects adjusted EPS for the year of between $5.68 and $5.74, representing an increase of between 6% and 7%.

Reported EPS will total between $5.54 and $5.66, representing a change between a 1% decline and a 1% increase over 2018.

Consolidated net sales at the Pennsylvania-based candymaker rose 2.6% to $2.13 billion. On an organic basis and adjusting for foreign currencies, sales advanced 1.6%.

The company's Amplify brands, which include snack labels such as Pirate's Booty and Skinny Pop, grew at "mid- to high-single-digit" rate during the quarter, Chairman, President and CEO Michele Gross Buck said in a statement.