Jim Cramer says he would buy Hershey stock now and down on the ‘next inflation scare’

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Monday advised investors to pick up stock of Hershey for their portfolios.

“Hershey’s the most consistent growth stock in a group where safety’s first, and you know what they say, safety never takes a vacation. I would buy some here, then wait to buy more if the stock gets hit the next time we have an inflation scare,” the “Mad Money” host said.

Hershey stock rose 0.09% to $223.93 on Monday, reaching a new 52-week high of $226.45 earlier in the day. The company beat Wall Street expectations in their fourth quarter earnings.

“One of the best kept secrets of this market is how well this company, this simple confectionary maker, has done in the era of inflation. Put simply, Hershey is the best performer in the group by any measure, but it’s never talked about,” Cramer said.

Hershey has diversified its brand portfolio in recent years, acquiring Pirate’s Booty, SkinnyPop-parent Amplify Snack Brands and most recently Dot’s Pretzels last year. “These were the perfect pick-ups as Covid hit the nation and turned us all into stay-at-homers who snack,” Cramer said.

He also praised Hershey’s “awesome pricing power,” which he said gives the company an edge over competitors struggling with skyrocketing raw costs and helps boost Hershey’s sales growth and gross margin.

The company said in its 2021 fourth quarter question-and-answer call that they expect “more pricing in the first half of the year” as well as “tougher” gross margins, but expect gross margins to slowly improve as the company gets closer to the fourth quarter of 2022.

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