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

According to Zacks, “Leggett has been progressing well on its long-term strategy and remains on track with achieving 2019 targets. Further, management’s reiterated view reflects its confidence in achieving sales growth of 5–8% in 2017, which in turn is expected to generate solid profit margins and increased EPS. Also, strategic initiatives and a disciplined capital allocation strategy bode well. However, the company has underperformed the broader industry in the last three months. Much of this could be attributed to the fluctuation in raw material prices, particularly steel. Moreover, management expects the inflationary pressure on steel prices to persist in 2017, which may hurt Leggett’s earnings. Further, currency woes and stiff competition pose significant threats. Estimates have been stable lately ahead of the second quarter earnings release. The company has a postivie record of earnings surprises in recent quarters.”

LEG has been the topic of several other reports. Credit Suisse Group assumed coverage on Leggett & Platt, in a research note on Thursday, June 22nd. They set a “neutral” rating and a $56.00 target price on the stock. Gabelli started coverage on Leggett & Platt, in a report on Wednesday, June 21st. They issued a “hold” rating and a $53.00 target price on the stock. BidaskClub raised Leggett & Platt, from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Saturday, June 17th. Piper Jaffray Companies started coverage on Leggett & Platt, in a report on Monday, June 5th. They set an “overweight” rating and a $59.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upped their price target on Leggett & Platt, from $48.00 to $52.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 3rd. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, two have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $55.57.

Leggett & Platt, (NYSE LEG) traded down 0.08% on Tuesday, hitting $52.40. The stock had a trading volume of 267,947 shares. Leggett & Platt, has a 1-year low of $44.02 and a 1-year high of $54.97. The stock has a market capitalization of $6.93 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 19.08 and a beta of 1.01. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $52.15 and a 200-day moving average price of $50.44.

Leggett & Platt, (NYSE:LEG) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Thursday, April 27th. The company reported $0.62 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.59 by $0.03. Leggett & Platt, had a return on equity of 31.91% and a net margin of 10.14%. The firm had revenue of $960.30 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $958.98 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $0.63 earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 2.3% on a year-over-year basis. Equities analysts predict that Leggett & Platt, will post $2.63 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, July 14th. Shareholders of record on Thursday, June 15th will be issued a dividend of $0.36 per share. This is an increase from Leggett & Platt,’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.34. This represents a $1.44 annualized dividend and a yield of 2.75%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, June 13th. Leggett & Platt,’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is presently 52.36%.

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In other news, SVP Scott S. Douglas sold 5,000 shares of Leggett & Platt, stock in a transaction on Wednesday, May 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $53.26, for a total value of $266,300.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 36,133 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,924,443.58. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Joseph W. Mcclanathan sold 5,715 shares of Leggett & Platt, stock in a transaction on Monday, May 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.91, for a total value of $302,380.65. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 32,314 shares in the company, valued at $1,709,733.74. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 46,320 shares of company stock worth $2,477,652 over the last 90 days. 1.78% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. BlackRock Inc. increased its position in shares of Leggett & Platt, by 1,572.6% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 11,942,965 shares of the company’s stock worth $600,969,000 after buying an additional 11,228,920 shares in the last quarter. Norges Bank bought a new position in shares of Leggett & Platt, during the fourth quarter worth about $62,501,000. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Leggett & Platt, by 3.2% in the first quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 15,434,519 shares of the company’s stock worth $776,664,000 after buying an additional 481,689 shares in the last quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group increased its position in shares of Leggett & Platt, by 79.8% in the first quarter. Schroder Investment Management Group now owns 1,060,299 shares of the company’s stock worth $53,450,000 after buying an additional 470,611 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Thomaspartners Inc. increased its position in shares of Leggett & Platt, by 8.7% in the first quarter. Thomaspartners Inc. now owns 3,821,679 shares of the company’s stock worth $192,307,000 after buying an additional 305,900 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.02% 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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Analyst Recommendations for Leggett & Platt, (NYSE:LEG)

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