Zacks Investment Research Lowers MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) to Hold

Zacks Investment Research cut shares of MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report published on Wednesday, Zacks.com reports.

According to Zacks, “MSA Safety Inc. is engaged in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. The company’s core product lines include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, handheld gas detection instruments, industrial and fire service head protection products and fall protection devices. It serves a broad range of industries, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, construction, mining and general industry. MSA Safety Inc., formerly known as Mine Safety Appliances Company, is headquartered in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. “

Other analysts also recently issued reports about the company. CJS Securities started coverage on MSA Safety in a research report on Tuesday. They set a buy rating and a $138.00 price objective for the company. Sidoti upgraded MSA Safety from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $113.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, March 24th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. The company currently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $131.25.

NYSE:MSA opened at $112.37 on Wednesday. The stock has a fifty day moving average price of $115.27 and a 200-day moving average price of $119.53. The company has a market cap of $4.37 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.22 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55, a quick ratio of 1.92 and a current ratio of 2.66. MSA Safety has a fifty-two week low of $83.57 and a fifty-two week high of $142.34.

MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) last released its earnings results on Wednesday, April 29th. The industrial products company reported $1.18 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by $0.23. The firm had revenue of $341.15 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $314.57 million. MSA Safety had a return on equity of 26.77% and a net margin of 11.07%. The company’s revenue was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company posted $1.14 EPS. Research analysts predict that MSA Safety will post 4.49 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 22nd were issued a $0.43 dividend. This represents a $1.72 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.53%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 21st. This is a boost from MSA Safety’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. MSA Safety’s dividend payout ratio is presently 35.83%.

In other MSA Safety news, VP Steven C. Sr. Blanco sold 9,585 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.00, for a total value of $1,188,540.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now owns 18,214 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,258,536. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Also, Director Diane M. Pearse sold 891 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.61, for a total value of $107,463.51. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 30,654 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,697,178.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 7.00% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. O Shares Investment Advisers LLC increased its holdings in MSA Safety by 1.4% in the 4th quarter. O Shares Investment Advisers LLC now owns 5,312 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $671,000 after purchasing an additional 73 shares in the last quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. increased its holdings in MSA Safety by 4.0% in the 1st quarter. Russell Investments Group Ltd. now owns 2,826 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $285,000 after purchasing an additional 109 shares in the last quarter. Csenge Advisory Group increased its stake in shares of MSA Safety by 6.9% in the first quarter. Csenge Advisory Group now owns 2,226 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $225,000 after buying an additional 144 shares during the period. FMR LLC increased its stake in shares of MSA Safety by 50.9% in the fourth quarter. FMR LLC now owns 682 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $86,000 after buying an additional 230 shares during the period. Finally, Profund Advisors LLC increased its stake in shares of MSA Safety by 7.3% in the fourth quarter. Profund Advisors LLC now owns 3,726 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $471,000 after buying an additional 254 shares during the period. 77.96% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

MSA Safety Company Profile

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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