Hershey forecasts 2020 sales, profit largely above estimates

Jan 30 (Reuters) - Hershey Co forecast 2020 profit and sales largely above Wall Street estimates on Thursday after beating fourth-quarter sales targets, driven by recent price increases and investments in healthier snacking options.

The company estimates full-year profit to be in the range of $6.13 per share to $6.24 per share, while analysts on average had expected it to earn $6.16.

The Kisses chocolate maker also projects 2020 net sales to increase between 2% and 4%, compared with average analyst estimate of a 2.90% rise.

Net sales rose to $2.07 billion from $1.99 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31, scraping past the average analyst estimate of $2.06 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. (Reporting by Praveen Paramasivam in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)