Diversified manufacturer Leggett & Platt Inc. reported net sales of $1.09 billion during the third quarter of fiscal 2018, which ended Oct. 25. It is an 8% increase compared with third-quarter 2017. Net earnings for the quarter increased 9% to $90 million. Earnings per share were $0.67, missing Wall Street analysts’ estimates (Zacks Investment Research) by about $0.05.
Sales growth in U.S. spring, automotive, adjustable bed, aerospace, steel rod and work furniture segments was partially offset by soft demand in most other businesses, the Carthage, Missouri-based company said.
“We are pleased with our 8% sales growth in the third quarter, reflecting strength in several businesses and raw material-related selling price increases,” said Karl Glassman, president and chief executive officer. “Demand continues to be strong in our U.S. spring business, with Comfort Core up 22%. We also benefited from higher trade volume and improved metal margins in our steel rod business. Adjustable bed sales were up 27%; however, earnings were negatively impacted by promotional activity and lower production rates as we reduced inventory. … Our financial base remains strong. We ended the quarter with $545 million available through our commercial paper program. … Net debt to net capital was 41%, slightly above our 30% to 40% target range.”
Total sales in the Furniture Products segment, which includes the Adjustable Bed Group and Fashion Bed Group, rose 4% compared with the previous quarter to $298 million. Volume gains in adjustable bed and work furniture were partially offset by declines in home furniture and fashion bed, the company said.
Sales in Industrial Products, which includes steel rod and wire, grew 28% to $173.4 million, due to raw material-related selling price increases (19%) and higher volume (9%), the company said.
Residential Products, which includes bedding components, foam and other bedding-related products, as well as Spuhl AG wire-forming machinery and Global Systems Group, had total sales of $449.9 million, an increase of 4% compared with the prior-year quarter.
The company reduced its full-year sales guidance to the low end of its prior range and now expects 2018 sales of approximately $4.25 billion. It also reduced 2018 EPS guidance to $2.40 to $2.50 on lower than previously expected sales in automotive.