Hershey Co. (NYSE: ) Revised Outlook Down For F-Y 2015.

Candy-maker Hershey (NYSE:HSY) said its expected growth in F-Y 2015 revenue, excluding foreign currency exchange, in the 6% to 7% range. Now the company expects that revenue to come in the 4% to 5% range.

Hershey experienced greater than expected headwinds in China so far this Quarter. A softened Chinese economy compelled consumers to spend less on its products. Hershey also cited increased competitive activity, which is not something long-term shareholders want to hear. Hershey will reevaluate the value of its Chinese subsidiary, Shanghai Golden Monkey Food Joint Stock Co.

Hershey also cited “the accelerated momentum of e-Commerce and online purchases” as negatively impacting its results. Certain retailing customers face decreasing traffic due to the final consumers’ tendency to shop online.

The Big Q: Why isn’t Hershey heading off this trend?

The implication for participants is that global expansion will not be as rosy as some multinationals thought.  The company indicates that its North American business does relatively well thanks to Hershey’s pricing power. Hershey’s guidance states that the region will contribute “135 to 145 basis points” to the company’s gross margins.

Hershey’s wants to expand its distribution of gains in core and high-return products. It also wants to increase distribution in smaller format stores. These all represent savvy strategic moves.

Hershey is expected to cut about 300 by the end of the year as it looks to simplify its operations.  The company did not specify where the job cuts would come from, but said manufacturing operations are not included in the plans.

Hershey finished Friday down roughly 3.5% to 89.04. The consensus target price is at 101.92, representing an almost 13% gainer from its current stock price.

HeffX-LTN Analysis for HSY:OverallShortIntermediateLong
Bearish (-0.45)Bearish (-0.40)Bearish (-0.46)Very Bearish (-0.50)

Have a terrific weekend.