Shareholders of Hershey (HSY) got a surprise Halloween treat Friday after the chocolate manufacture booked better-than-expected quarterly earnings, largely thanks to U.S. shoppers stocking up for the holiday.
"Our U.S. business benefited from performance within key retail channels and Halloween programming and merchandising in the marketplace," CEO John Bilbrey said of the third-quarter earnings beat -- the $1.29 a share earnings report topped analyst estimates of $1.18. Meanwhile, Hershey also raised its guidance for 2016 EPS to a range of $4.28 to $4.32, above consensus estimates of $4.26. Hershey shares were up more than 6% in midday trading.
Shares of Royal Caribbean Cruises (RCL) were up roughly 10% in afternoon trading, also, after the company beat forecasts for its third-quarter performance. The cruise line disproved some forecasts that challenges in European markets would tamp down earnings. EPS of $3.20 for the second quarter topped consensus estimates of about $3.10.
And Big Pharma shareholders fled in droves across the board Friday, after San Francisco-based McKesson (MCK) shares fell about 25% on CEO John Hammergren's comment that the company had to significantly cut drug prices to match competitors. The industry is facing growing pressure to reduce drug prices on the back of increased regulatory and media scrutiny, especially following the controversy over Mylan's (MYL) price hiking on its anti-allergy EpiPen product.
"What we began to see more recently is competitive activity that is broader than our original expectations, more aggressive, and across several areas of our U.S. pharmaceutical business," Hammergren said on an earnings call with analysts. "When a competitor significantly undercuts our existing pricing, we are compelled to respond," he added.
Shares of Canadian-based Valeant Pharmaceuticals (VRX) , which is slated to roll out earnings Nov. 8, fell roughly 6% in afternoon trading following Hammerger's comments.