Leggett & Platt (LEG) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note released on Friday.

According to Zacks, “Leggett reported better-than-expected results in the second quarter of 2018, buoyed by solid contribution from several businesses including Automotive, Bedding, Adjustable Bed, Aerospace, Geo Components and Work Furniture. It's shares have gained 0.6% in the past six months, compared with the industry's decline of 9.4%. The better-than-industry performance can be attributed to its long-term strategies. However, the company trimmed its sales and EPS guidance for 2018 to account for challenges in its furniture products segment due to weaker demand and foreign competition. Over the past 60 days, earnings estimates for 2018 and 2019 have been trending downward, reflecting analysts’ concern over the stock’s future earnings potential. Also, the company missed the consensus mark on sales in eight of the last 10 quarters.”

Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. ValuEngine raised Leggett & Platt from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 22nd. Stifel Nicolaus raised Leggett & Platt from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their price target for the stock from $48.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Thursday, May 31st. Four investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $48.20.

NYSE:LEG opened at $46.40 on Friday. Leggett & Platt has a 1-year low of $39.57 and a 1-year high of $51.99. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.02 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.86, a P/E/G ratio of 1.66 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15, a current ratio of 1.90 and a quick ratio of 1.23.

Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, July 26th. The company reported $0.63 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.61 by $0.02. Leggett & Platt had a return on equity of 27.73% and a net margin of 6.83%. The firm had revenue of $1.10 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.09 billion. During the same period last year, the company posted $0.64 EPS. The business’s quarterly revenue was up 11.4% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Leggett & Platt will post 2.62 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, October 15th. Stockholders of record on Monday, September 24th will be paid a dividend of $0.38 per share. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 3.28%. The ex-dividend date is Friday, September 21st. Leggett & Platt’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 61.79%.

In other news, insider Matthew C. Flanigan sold 15,672 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, August 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $46.00, for a total transaction of $720,912.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 116,341 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,351,686. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Matthew C. Flanigan sold 29,248 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, July 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $44.09, for a total value of $1,289,544.32. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 115,039 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,072,069.51. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 1.52% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC raised its stake in shares of Leggett & Platt by 11.0% in the 2nd quarter. BerganKDV Wealth Management LLC now owns 19,322 shares of the company’s stock valued at $863,000 after acquiring an additional 1,908 shares in the last quarter. Charles Schwab Investment Advisory Inc. bought a new position in shares of Leggett & Platt in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $120,882,000. DnB Asset Management AS bought a new position in shares of Leggett & Platt in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $553,000. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. raised its stake in shares of Leggett & Platt by 2.0% in the 2nd quarter. Schwab Charles Investment Management Inc. now owns 1,054,774 shares of the company’s stock valued at $47,086,000 after acquiring an additional 20,700 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its position in Leggett & Platt by 1.2% in the 2nd quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 161,596 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,222,000 after buying an additional 1,939 shares during the period. 79.43% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Leggett & Platt

Leggett & Platt, Incorporated designs and produces various engineered components and products worldwide. It operates through four segments: Residential Products, Furniture Products, Industrial Products, and Specialized Products. The Residential Products segment offers innersprings, wire forms, and machines to shape wire into various types of springs; industrial sewing/finishing machines, conveyor lines, mattress packaging, and glue-drying equipment, as well as quilting machines; and structural fabrics, carpet cushions, and geo components.

See Also: Diversification

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