Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) Rating Increased to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report issued on Thursday, September 20th.

According to Zacks, “Leggett’s dismal sales 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. Earnings estimates for 2018 and 2019 have been trending downward, limiting upside potential for the stock. However, Leggett remains encouraged by its strategies to enhance business portfolio, disciplined capital allocation and progress on long-term goals. By 2020, it intends to achieve its top-third TSR target through revenue growth, margin enhancement and shareholder-friendly moves.”

A number of other research analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine raised shares of Leggett & Platt from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, August 22nd. Stifel Nicolaus raised shares of Leggett & Platt from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $48.00 to $50.00 in a research note on Thursday, May 31st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $48.20.

NYSE:LEG traded down $0.14 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $38.92. The stock had a trading volume of 1,385,814 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,276,747. The company has a quick ratio of 1.23, a current ratio of 1.90 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.15. The company has a market cap of $5.70 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.82, a PEG ratio of 1.57 and a beta of 0.84. Leggett & Platt has a twelve month low of $38.60 and a twelve month high of $51.99.

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

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

Several large investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Federated Investors Inc. PA acquired a new position in Leggett & Platt in the 1st quarter worth $138,000. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in Leggett & Platt by 159.2% in the 2nd quarter. Moneta Group Investment Advisors LLC now owns 3,175 shares of the company’s stock worth $142,000 after buying an additional 1,950 shares in the last quarter. Hilltop Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in Leggett & Platt in the 1st quarter worth $200,000. Osborn Williams & Donohoe LLC acquired a new position in Leggett & Platt in the 2nd quarter worth $201,000. Finally, Confluence Wealth Management LLC acquired a new position in Leggett & Platt in the 2nd quarter worth $213,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.46% of the company’s stock.

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.

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