April 26, 2018 / 11:53 AM / a month ago

BRIEF-Hershey Reports Q1 Adjusted Earnings Per Share $1.41

April 26 (Reuters) - Hershey Co:

* HERSHEY REPORTS FIRST-QUARTER RESULTS; REAFFIRMS 2018 EARNINGS, REFINES SALES OUTLOOK

* Q1 SALES $1.972 BILLION VERSUS $1.88 BILLION

* SEES FY 2018 EARNINGS PER SHARE $4.73 TO $4.98 INCLUDING ITEMS

* Q1 ADJUSTED EARNINGS PER SHARE $1.41

* IN 2018, COMPANY ESTIMATES NET SALES TO INCREASE TOWARDS LOWER END OF PREVIOUSLY COMMUNICATED RANGE OF 5% TO 7%

* AMPLIFY ACQUISITION IS ON TRACK AND DELIVERING ACCELERATED EARNINGS ACCRETION IN 2018

* ADJUSTED GROSS MARGIN WAS 44.9% IN Q1 OF 2018 COMPARED TO 47.5% IN Q1 OF 2017

* Q1 GROSS MARGIN RESULT WAS BELOW EXPECTATIONS DRIVEN BY UNFAVORABLE MIX, COST OF COMPLEXITY AND HIGHER INPUT COSTS

* IMPACT OF FOREIGN CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATES IS ESTIMATED TO BE NEGLIGIBLE FOR 2018

* HERSHEY-QTRLY BUSINESS IN CHINA CONTINUED TO SEQUENTIALLY IMPROVE, RESULTING IN CONSTANT CURRENCY NET SALES INCREASE OF ABOUT 1 PERCENT VERSUS YEAR AGO PERIOD

* FOR FY, EXPECTS ADJUSTED GROSS MARGIN TO DECREASE AROUND 125 BASIS POINTS VERSUS PREVIOUS OUTLOOK OF ABOUT SAME YEAR OVER YEAR

* EXPECTS TO DELIVER TOWARDS HIGH END OF $150 MILLION TO $175 MILLION MARGIN FOR GROWTH PROGRAM TARGET BY 2019

* TOTAL CAPITAL ADDITIONS, INCLUDING SOFTWARE, ARE NOW EXPECTED TO BE $355 MILLION TO $375 MILLION FOR 2018 Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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