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Leggett & Platt Q1 EPS mounts 12%
25
Apr '14
Diversified manufacturer Leggett & Platt reported earnings of $.37 per share, a first quarter record for EPS from Continuing Operations. In 2013, first quarter EPS was $.33. The 2014 EPS improvement reflects an improved mix of sales across business units and a modest gain on sale of a building. These factors were partially offset by the earnings impact of lower same location sales.
 
Highlights:
-1Q EPS was $.37, a 12% increase versus the prior year
-1Q sales were $919 million, 1% lower than in prior year
-Raising low end of 2014 EPS guidance; anticipate EPS of $1.70 - 1.85 on sales of $3.85 4.05 billion
 
First quarter 2014 sales were $919 million, a 1% (or $14 million) decrease versus the prior year. Same location sales declined 3% due to lower volumes in Store Fixtures and Commercial Vehicle Products, and weather-related demand weakness in several other businesses during the first two months of the year. Acquisitions improved sales by 2%.
 
EBIT margin improved 50 basis points versus first quarter last year, from 8.5% to 9.0%. Excluding the gain on sale of a building, margin remained at the percentage level achieved in the first quarter 2013, despite lower sales.
 
CEO Comments
Board Chair and CEO David S. Haffner commented, "In spite of the unusually harsh weather, we are pleased with our start to 2014. Though sales declined, our EBIT margin held ground, and we exited the quarter with improving demand. We are sufficiently encouraged by recent strength in key markets to raise the low end of our EPS guidance.
 
"Since 2007, our primary long-term financial goal has been to consistently rank in the top third of the S&P 500 companies for Total Shareholder Return (TSR[1]) as measured over rolling 3-year periods.  For the three year period that began January 1, 2012, we have so far (over the last 28 months) generated TSR performance that places us just above the midpoint of the S&P 500 companies, but shy of our goal.
 
"We continue to maintain our strong financial base. At quarter's end we had over $450 million available under our existing commercial paper program. We ended the quarter with net debt to net capital at 31.5%, near the conservative end of our long-term 30%-40% target range.
 
"Given anticipated sales growth, in 2014 we expect another year of record earnings from Continuing Operations. And as we look beyond 2014, we are encouraged by the positive momentum of several businesses including Automotive, Aerospace, Bedding, Furniture, and Office."
 
Click here to view full results.
 

Leggett & Platt

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