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The Hershey Company (NYSE:HSY), a North American chocolate producer, could once again send a sweet reward to its shareholders in the form of a stock split.

Hershey has historically seen tremendous growth in North America and globally over the years and continues to provide shareholders with higher stock values, increasing dividends and stock splits. Driving these are the facts that Hershey now has over 80 brand names and markets its products in over 70 countries. This growth has resulted in increased net quarterly income and gross quarterly profits for the first three quarters for each of the last 4 years (see chart below).

Hershey's Net Income And Gross Profit Data

Total From The First Three Quarters Of Each Year
YearGross Quarterly ProfitYOY Inc/DecNet Quarterly IncomeYOY Inc/Dec

2010

1795.74M 374.28M
20111900.68M+5.8%486.84M+30.1%
20122104.68M+10.7%511.05M+4.97%
20132423.46M+15.1%634.39M+24.1%

These increases over the years have allowed Hershey to make 333 consecutive quarterly dividend payments, including greater increases each of the last four years (see chart below).

Hershey's Dividend Data 2010-2013

4 Year Dividend YOY Comparison
YearDividends PaidYOY Inc/Dec
2010$1.28
2011$1.38+7.8%
2012$1.56+13%
2013$1.81+16%

Hershey sees continued global growth as a great opportunity to continue the above trends. The company recently acquired 80 percent of the iconic Shanghai Golden Monkey Food Joint Stock Co. Ltd. based in Shanghai, China.

The Potential For A Split

Hershey's Previous Stock Split Data
YearSplit DateSplitStock Value Before SplitStock Value After SplitIncrease to Stock Value to Next Split
198609/16/19863:1$70.50$23.75
199609/16/19962:1$91.12$45.88$67.37
200406/16/20042:1$92.03$45.74$46.15
2014???????????????

The chart above shows the last 3 stock splits Hershey conducted were when the stock price was between $70-$100 and 8-10 years apart. The stock value between the 1986 to 1996 split shows the stock increased by $67.37. And the increase in stock value from the 1996 to 2004 stock split was $46.15.

Conclusion

At the time of writing the last market close of Hershey's stock traded at $97.74 and the last split occurred in 2004. This puts the stock value in the historical split range and at approximately the 10 year mark from the last split, which is historically consistent.

I believe Hershey stock would be a great investment for a personal investment portfolio either now before talks of a possible stock split heat up or just after the split occurs for a buy and hold position. This would allow you to collect dividends and increased stock value for years to come.

For the short term investor, stock prices usually increase quickly once a stock split is announced. By buying now you could possibly score a quick profit from an increased stock value by selling just before any split occurs.

Source: About Time For Another Sweet Hershey Stock Split