MSA Safety (MSA) Rating Lowered to Hold at ValuEngine

ValuEngine downgraded shares of MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Monday morning, ValuEngine reports.

MSA has been the topic of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research cut MSA Safety from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 20th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a buy rating and issued a $115.00 price objective on shares of MSA Safety in a research report on Wednesday, December 19th. William Blair assumed coverage on MSA Safety in a research report on Thursday, January 10th. They issued a market perform rating and a $98.30 price objective on the stock. Finally, Robert W. Baird cut MSA Safety from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $107.00 to $98.00 in a research report on Friday, December 21st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and one has assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $106.10.

MSA stock opened at $104.70 on Monday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54, a quick ratio of 1.77 and a current ratio of 2.33. MSA Safety has a 1-year low of $80.86 and a 1-year high of $110.83. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.98 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.27 and a beta of 1.31.

MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, February 21st. The industrial products company reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.26 by $0.01. MSA Safety had a return on equity of 27.35% and a net margin of 9.14%. The business had revenue of $361.78 million for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $359.32 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.31 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, research analysts predict that MSA Safety will post 4.81 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Sunday, March 10th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 19th were given a dividend of $0.38 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, February 15th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.45%. MSA Safety’s dividend payout ratio is presently 33.78%.

In other news, Director L Edward Shaw, Jr. sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.02, for a total transaction of $5,201,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 467,238 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $48,602,096.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider William M. Lambert sold 24,592 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.50, for a total value of $2,545,272.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 56,734 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,871,969. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 9.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MSA. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lifted its position in shares of MSA Safety by 100.2% during the 3rd quarter. JPMorgan Chase & Co. now owns 624,073 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $66,426,000 after buying an additional 312,368 shares during the last quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. lifted its position in shares of MSA Safety by 2.0% during the 3rd quarter. Prudential Financial Inc. now owns 34,717 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $3,695,000 after buying an additional 670 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. lifted its position in shares of MSA Safety by 1.9% during the 3rd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,952,116 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $420,661,000 after buying an additional 72,772 shares during the last quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC lifted its position in shares of MSA Safety by 672.5% during the 3rd quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,939 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $206,000 after buying an additional 1,688 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Mutual of America Capital Management LLC lifted its position in shares of MSA Safety by 1.9% during the 3rd quarter. Mutual of America Capital Management LLC now owns 29,783 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $3,170,000 after buying an additional 548 shares during the last quarter. 73.54% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About MSA Safety

MSA Safety Incorporated develops, manufactures, and supplies safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures in the oil, gas, petrochemical, fire service, construction, utilities, and mining industries worldwide. It operates through Americas and International segments. The company's core product offerings include permanently installed fixed gas and flame detection instruments, such as permanently installed gas detection monitoring systems, and flame detectors and open-path infrared gas detectors, as well as replacement components and related services to detect the presence or absence of various gases in the air.

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