(Adds details, EPS estimate and share movement)
Feb 1 (Reuters) - Hershey Co on Thursday reported quarterly profit and sales that missed analysts' estimates, hurt partly by the timing of shipments in North America and weak demand in international markets.
Shares of the candy maker were trading down about 3 percent at $107 before the bell.
Adjusted net income was $1.03 per share for the fourth quarter, missing analysts' average estimate of $1.07, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Sales fell 1.5 percent to $1.94 billion, missing analysts' estimate of $1.95 billion, hurt in part due to the timing of shipments last quarter and the launch of the Hershey's Cookie Layer Crunch bar in the prior year that spiked sales in the 2016 quarter.
North America sales, which account for most of Hershey's revenue, fell nearly 1 percent to $1.7 billion in the quarter.
However, net income rose to $181.1 million, or 85 cents per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, from $116.9 million, 55 cents per share, a year earlier.
Hershey's said the recent changes in U.S. tax laws would favorably impact net income, earnings per share-diluted and cash flow in 2018, adding that it is currently evaluating the cash benefits of the tax rate changes.
For 2018, the company expects sales to rise 5-7 percent and margins to remain flat.
Due to lower tax rate and reinvestment, Hershey's said it expects 2018 adjusted earnings per share of $5.33-$5.43, or an increase of 12-14 percent.
(Reporting by Sangameswaran S in Bengaluru; Editing by Martina D'Couto)