Leggett & Platt 1Q Earning Up 16% Percent

Carthage, MO, April 21--Leggett & Platt reported first quarter earnings that were up 16 percent, helped by higher selling prices and improved efficiency. The company earned $72.8 million, or $0.37 per share, up from $62.8 million, or $0.32 per share, a year earlier. Revenue rose 10 percent to $1.3 billion from $1.19 billion. Leggett & Platt said overall volume was essentially flat while higher steel prices and acquisitions boosted revenue. Acquired businesses accounted for $14 million of the increase. Sales of the company's residential furniture products grew 8 percent to $646.3 million as acquisitions and higher prices offset a decline in volume for innersprings. The results matched Leggett's own guidance and edged out the average analyst estimate for profit of $0.36 per share. Analysts predicted sales of $1.28 billion. For the second quarter, Leggett & Platt predicted earnings of $0.40 to $0.45 per share on sales of $1.32 billion to $1.37 billion. Analysts expect profit of $0.43 per share on sales of $1.37 billion. The company also backed its previous outlook for the year -- profit of $1.50 to $1.70 per share with sales growing 6 percent to 10 percent. That's in line with analysts' estimates for profit of $1.65 per share and sales growth of 8 percent to $5.49 billion.

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