Leggett & Platt, Incorporated (LEG) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

Leggett & Platt, Incorporated (NYSE:LEG) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note issued 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.”

Several other equities research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. BidaskClub lowered shares of Leggett & Platt, from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a report on Friday, August 25th. Hilliard Lyons raised shares of Leggett & Platt, from a “neutral” rating to a “long-term buy” rating and set a $66.00 target price for the company in a report on Monday, July 24th. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $49.00 target price on shares of Leggett & Platt, in a report on Friday, September 8th. Stifel Nicolaus reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Leggett & Platt, in a report on Thursday, September 7th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group started coverage on shares of Leggett & Platt, in a report on Thursday, June 22nd. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $56.00 target price for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating, three have issued a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $54.75.

Leggett & Platt, (LEG) traded down 0.943% during trading on Tuesday, hitting $47.815. 452,447 shares of the stock were exchanged. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $46.42 and a 200 day moving average price of $50.18. Leggett & Platt, has a 1-year low of $43.17 and a 1-year high of $54.97. The firm has a market capitalization of $6.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.974 and a beta of 0.99.

Leggett & Platt, (NYSE:LEG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 27th. The company reported $0.64 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, missing the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.65 by ($0.01). The firm had revenue of $989.30 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $1 billion. Leggett & Platt, had a return on equity of 31.02% and a net margin of 9.17%. The company’s revenue was up 3.2% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $0.66 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Leggett & Platt, will post $2.43 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

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

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Gotham Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Leggett & Platt, by 270.6% in the 1st quarter. Gotham Asset Management LLC now owns 157,645 shares of the company’s stock worth $7,933,000 after purchasing an additional 115,102 shares during the period. State of Wisconsin Investment Board boosted its stake in Leggett & Platt, by 33.1% in the 2nd quarter. State of Wisconsin Investment Board now owns 121,673 shares of the company’s stock worth $6,391,000 after purchasing an additional 30,250 shares during the period. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. boosted its stake in Leggett & Platt, by 13.1% in the 2nd quarter. Los Angeles Capital Management & Equity Research Inc. now owns 285,588 shares of the company’s stock worth $15,002,000 after purchasing an additional 33,106 shares during the period. Victory Capital Management Inc. boosted its stake in Leggett & Platt, by 15.4% in the 2nd quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 173,461 shares of the company’s stock worth $9,112,000 after purchasing an additional 23,089 shares during the period. Finally, Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund boosted its stake in Leggett & Platt, by 21.2% in the 2nd quarter. Fjarde AP Fonden Fourth Swedish National Pension Fund now owns 35,798 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,880,000 after purchasing an additional 6,271 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 68.86% of the company’s stock.

About Leggett & Platt,

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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