Leggett & Platt (LEG) Raised to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

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Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Leggett’s dismal surprise history is a key concern with sales lagging estimates in four consecutive quarters and negative earnings surprise in three of the last four quarters. Results continue to be hurt by volatility in raw material prices, particularly steel. Further, the company expects margin pressures due to steel costs inflation to continue in the second quarter. The company cut its earnings view for 2018. Estimates moved southward ahead of the second quarter earnings. However, Leggett surpassed the industry in the last three months driven by strategies to enhance business portfolio, disciplined capital allocation and progress on long-term goals. It intends to achieve its top-third TSR target by 2020, through revenue growth, margin enhancement and shareholder-friendly moves. Its long-term strategy focuses on boosting business portfolio by increasing investments in areas providing competitive edge and exiting underperforming operations.”

Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Credit Suisse Group cut their target price on shares of Leggett & Platt from $51.00 to $46.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Friday, April 27th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Leggett & Platt from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. SunTrust Banks cut their target price on shares of Leggett & Platt to $48.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a research note on Tuesday, May 1st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised shares of Leggett & Platt from a hold rating to a buy rating and boosted their target price for the company from $48.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Thursday, May 31st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, three have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $51.17.

Leggett & Platt opened at $43.69 on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The firm has a market cap of $5.74 billion, a PE ratio of 18.13, a PEG ratio of 1.50 and a beta of 0.90. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04, a current ratio of 1.85 and a quick ratio of 1.23. Leggett & Platt has a 52-week low of $39.57 and a 52-week high of $53.96.

Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 26th. The company reported $0.57 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the consensus estimate of $0.59 by ($0.02). The firm had revenue of $1.03 billion for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $1.03 billion. Leggett & Platt had a return on equity of 27.92% and a net margin of 7.09%. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 7.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.62 EPS. analysts expect that Leggett & Platt will post 2.65 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 13th. Investors of record on Friday, June 15th will be paid a $0.38 dividend. This is an increase from Leggett & Platt’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.36. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, June 14th. This represents a $1.52 annualized dividend and a yield of 3.48%. Leggett & Platt’s payout ratio is presently 61.79%.

In other Leggett & Platt news, Director Robert Ted Enloe III sold 5,328 shares of Leggett & Platt stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.47, for a total value of $220,952.16. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 38,376 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,591,452.72. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. 1.52% of the stock is owned by insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. BlackRock Inc. grew its holdings in Leggett & Platt by 1.2% in the 1st quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,608,640 shares of the company’s stock valued at $559,321,000 after buying an additional 145,889 shares during the period. Epoch Investment Partners Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of Leggett & Platt during the 1st quarter worth about $132,346,000. Bank of New York Mellon Corp grew its holdings in shares of Leggett & Platt by 4.3% during the 4th quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 2,658,840 shares of the company’s stock worth $126,906,000 after purchasing an additional 109,248 shares during the period. Thomaspartners Inc. grew its holdings in shares of Leggett & Platt by 6.4% during the 1st quarter. Thomaspartners Inc. now owns 2,557,065 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,431,000 after purchasing an additional 153,367 shares during the period. Finally, TimesSquare Capital Management LLC grew its holdings in shares of Leggett & Platt by 46.1% during the 4th quarter. TimesSquare Capital Management LLC now owns 2,495,300 shares of the company’s stock worth $119,101,000 after purchasing an additional 787,600 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 76.19% of the company’s stock.

Leggett & Platt Company Profile

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.

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Analyst Recommendations for Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG)

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