Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE:LEG) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Leggett is progressing well with its long-term strategy of achieving top-line growth of 4%–5% annually. The company is also enhancing its business portfolio by expanding operations in areas that provide competitive advantage while exiting the underperforming ones. The company maintains its disciplined capital allocation and remains keen on boosting shareholder value. However, the company’s significant global presence exposes it to adverse currency movements. Raw material price deflation and stiff competition also pose significant threats. These factors led the company’s top-line to decline for the fifth consecutive quarter in the preceding quarter. While the company provided a conservative sales outlook for 2016, it continues to anticipate generating record EPS, robust EBIT margin and enhanced cash flows this year. Nonetheless, estimates have been going down ahead of the company’s third quarter earnings release.”

Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Citigroup Inc. downgraded Leggett & Platt to a “market perform” rating in a research report on Monday, August 1st. Raymond James Financial Inc. reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of Leggett & Platt in a research report on Monday, August 1st. Finally, Hilliard Lyons downgraded Leggett & Platt from a “neutral” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report on Friday, July 29th.

Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) traded down 0.24% during trading on Thursday, hitting $45.67. The stock had a trading volume of 182,511 shares. Leggett & Platt has a one year low of $36.64 and a one year high of $54.63. The company has a market cap of $6.10 billion, a P/E ratio of 16.70 and a beta of 0.95. The firm has a 50 day moving average of $48.98 and a 200-day moving average of $49.99.

Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) last released its earnings results on Thursday, July 28th. The company reported $0.66 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.04. The business had revenue of $958.90 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $1,000 million. Leggett & Platt had a return on equity of 33.71% and a net margin of 10.03%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 3.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter last year, the business posted $0.53 earnings per share. Equities analysts anticipate that Leggett & Platt will post $2.50 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, October 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, September 15th will be given a $0.34 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, September 13th. This represents a $1.36 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.97%. Leggett & Platt’s dividend payout ratio is currently 49.64%.

In other news, insider Dennis S. Park sold 3,000 shares of Leggett & Platt stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $52.48, for a total value of $157,440.00. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 276,697 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $14,521,058.56. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Judy C. Odom sold 5,000 shares of Leggett & Platt stock in a transaction on Tuesday, August 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.51, for a total value of $262,550.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 58,557 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,074,828.07. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.92% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of LEG. Aperio Group LLC boosted its stake in shares of Leggett & Platt by 0.7% in the first quarter. Aperio Group LLC now owns 36,076 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,746,000 after buying an additional 250 shares during the last quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Leggett & Platt by 28.7% in the first quarter. TIAA CREF Investment Management LLC now owns 519,236 shares of the company’s stock worth $25,131,000 after buying an additional 115,872 shares during the last quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. boosted its stake in shares of Leggett & Platt by 24.4% in the first quarter. Teachers Advisors Inc. now owns 298,973 shares of the company’s stock worth $14,470,000 after buying an additional 58,555 shares during the last quarter. BlackRock Group LTD boosted its stake in shares of Leggett & Platt by 1.0% in the first quarter. BlackRock Group LTD now owns 1,044,583 shares of the company’s stock worth $50,558,000 after buying an additional 10,814 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. boosted its stake in shares of Leggett & Platt by 2.9% in the first quarter. BlackRock Institutional Trust Company N.A. now owns 3,777,136 shares of the company’s stock worth $182,813,000 after buying an additional 106,026 shares during the last quarter. 66.41% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Leggett & Platt

Leggett & Platt, Incorporated is a manufacturer of engineered components and products found in homes, offices, automobiles and commercial aircraft. The Company operates in four segments: Residential Furnishings, Commercial Products, Industrial Materials and Specialized Products. The Residential Furnishings segment manufactures steel coiled bedsprings.

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