Strong final quarter powers Leggett & Platt sales gains

Leggett & Platt 2017 resultsCarthage, Missouri-based Leggett & Platt Inc. reported fourth-quarter 2017 sales of $984 million, a 9% increase versus the fourth quarter of 2016.

Fourth-quarter earnings per share were $0.27. Fourth-quarter adjusted EPS was $0.59, an 11% increase versus 2016, primarily due to higher sales. For the full year, L&P’s sales grew 5%, to $3.94 billion, and same-location sales increased 6%, compared with 2016.

In the fourth quarter, the Furniture Products segment sales, which includes adjustable beds and the Fashion Bed Group, were $283 million, a 10% increase compared with the same quarter of 2016. Total sales in the segment were $1.6 billion, a 3.2% increase for full-year 2017, with same-location sales up 5%.

In the Industrial Products segment, which includes steel rod and wire, fourth-quarter sales were $136 million, up 4.2% compared with 2016. Total sales in 2017 for the segment were $546 million, a decrease of 6%, due to divestitures completed in 2016.

In the Residential Products segment, which includes bedding components, foam, other bedding-related products, Spuhl AG wire-forming machinery and the Global Systems Group, fourth-quarter sales were $400 million, a 7% increase versus the same quarter of 2016. The segment’s full-year sales were $1.6 billion, a 3% increase for the year.

“(Sales growth in the fourth quarter and full year) came primarily from new programs and added content in the automotive segment and market share gains in adjustable beds,” said Karl Glassman, L&P president and chief executive officer.

Fourth-quarter and full-year 2017 earnings include a net $50 million, or $0.37 per share, charge for the estimated impact of the recently enacted Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The company posted its 46th consecutive annual dividend increase in 2017, a record only 10 S&P 500 companies exceed.

For 2018, the company expects sales growth will lead to improved earnings and margins.  Continuing operations EPS is expected to be $2.65 to $2.85. Sales are expected to be $4.2 to $4.3 billion, an increase of 6% to 9% versus 2017. Based upon this guidance range, 2018 EBIT margin should be 12% to 12.5%.