Zacks Investment Research Lowers Leggett & Platt, Incorporated (LEG) to Sell

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

According to Zacks, “Leggett has underperformed the industry in the past year due to volatile steel prices which has been a hurdle for quite some time. Driven by increased steel price inflation, the company recently embarked upon the second guidance cut for 2017 in less than two months. Additionally, a rise in LIFO costs and soft demand in the furniture and bedding space are expected to weigh on results. The company trimmed its earnings and EBIT margin views for 2017, which led to a downtrend in estimates. Moreover, the company has a mixed record of earnings surprises in recent quarters. However, the sale of Masterack business, which is the last part of the planned CVP business sale, is likely to augment earnings for 2017 by 4 cents per share. Further, the company remains on track with its 2019 goals, aimed at achieving top-third TSR target in next three years. This will be aided by revenues growth, margin enhancement and shareholder-friendly moves.”

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies set a $59.00 price target on shares of Leggett & Platt, and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Monday, August 14th. Hilliard Lyons upgraded shares of Leggett & Platt, from a neutral rating to a long-term buy rating and set a $66.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, July 24th. Gabelli assumed coverage on shares of Leggett & Platt, in a research note on Wednesday, June 21st. They issued a hold rating and a $53.00 price target on the stock. BidaskClub cut shares of Leggett & Platt, from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Sunday, August 6th. Finally, SunTrust Banks, Inc. upgraded shares of Leggett & Platt, from a hold rating to a buy rating and upped their price target for the stock from $50.00 to $53.00 in a research note on Friday, September 22nd. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $54.75.

Leggett & Platt, (NYSE:LEG) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.64 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $989.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1 billion. Leggett & Platt, had a return on equity of 31.02% and a net margin of 9.17%. The business’s revenue for the quarter was up 3.2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $0.66 EPS.

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The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 13th. Shareholders of record on Friday, September 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.36 per share. This represents a $1.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 3.01%. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, September 14th. Leggett & Platt,’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 57.14%.

In other Leggett & Platt, news, insider Matthew C. Flanigan sold 19,589 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, July 31st. The shares were sold at an average price of $49.58, for a total transaction of $971,222.62. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 159,522 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $7,909,100.76. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Company insiders own 1.78% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its position in shares of Leggett & Platt, by 3.2% during the 1st quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 15,434,519 shares of the company’s stock valued at $776,664,000 after acquiring an additional 481,689 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. boosted its position in shares of Leggett & Platt, by 0.6% during the 2nd quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 12,019,449 shares of the company’s stock valued at $631,381,000 after acquiring an additional 76,484 shares during the last quarter. US Bancorp DE boosted its position in shares of Leggett & Platt, by 2.3% during the 2nd quarter. US Bancorp DE now owns 2,038,293 shares of the company’s stock valued at $107,072,000 after acquiring an additional 46,071 shares during the last quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. boosted its position in shares of Leggett & Platt, by 0.9% during the 2nd quarter. Franklin Resources Inc. now owns 1,584,782 shares of the company’s stock valued at $83,249,000 after acquiring an additional 13,837 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its position in shares of Leggett & Platt, by 10.8% during the 1st quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 1,445,309 shares of the company’s stock valued at $72,633,000 after acquiring an additional 141,050 shares during the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.86% of the company’s stock.

Leggett & Platt, Company Profile

Leggett & Platt, Incorporated is a manufacturer that conceives, designs and produces a range of engineered components and products found in homes, offices and automobiles. The Company operates in four segments: Residential Furnishings, Commercial Products, Industrial Materials and Specialized Products.

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Analyst Recommendations for Leggett & Platt, (NYSE:LEG)

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