Kissed Off

Hugs, the savory striped Kisses unveiled last year, haven't helped much. Neither has an 8.3% dividend hike. So how to revive Hershey Foods' lagging stock? Kenneth Wolfe, promoted to chief executive of Hershey in January, is trying a restructuring: On Nov. 1, the company said it will take a $105 million aftertax charge to trim 400 jobs over 15 months. The plan, which would meld U.S., Canadian, and Mexican operations into a single unit, aims to produce $20 million in annual savings starting in 1996. That would lift profits--which, despite a raft of new products, have stayed sluggish through the last year. Big deal, said investors, who took 50 cents off Hershey's shares on the news.

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