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Shares of Hershey Co. might turn bitter before becoming sweet again.

With a potential tug of war for the confectionery brands of Cadbury Schweppes PLC in the offing, Hershey might not be able to resist the temptation to make a bid. Any attempt by Hershey to purchase Cadbury's chocolate and chewing-gum brands, with an estimated value of about $19 billion, would put a squeeze on Hershey's earnings. But it may be an opportunity Hershey can't afford to miss.


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