In the first quarter of fiscal 2021, diversified manufacturer Leggett & Platt Inc. reported net earnings of $87.5 million, compared with $44.1 million in the first quarter of 2020. Per share earnings set a first-quarter record, increasing $0.31 to $0.64.
Earnings per share
Furniture Flooring & Textile Products
The Carthage, Missouri-based company also raised its dividend for the 50th consecutive year, from $0.40 to $0.42, joining a handful of exclusive stocks Wall Street classifies as Dividend Kings.
Net sales in the quarter rose a healthy 10% to $1.15 billion.
Chair and Chief Executive Officer Karl Glassman said: “We had a very strong start to the year, delivering better than expected first-quarter results thanks to the efforts of an incredible team of more than 20,000 employees who remain focused on servicing our customers and keeping each other safe. We generated record first-quarter EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes), EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization), and (earnings per share). Our results demonstrate our agility and resilience in dealing with inflationary pressure and supply chain constraints. Strong demand combined with our disciplined cost control provides us confidence to raise our full year guidance.
“We are also very pleased to be increasing our dividend for the 50th consecutive year, honoring our ongoing commitment to return value to our shareholders. Lastly, we’re proud to have issued our inaugural sustainability report last month, which signifies our commitment to further enhance responsible environmental, social and governance practices across our global operations.”
First-quarter sales in Bedding Products (which includes all products sold to the bedding industry — adjustable beds, steel rod and wire, foam and springs, and all bed- and spring-making machinery) increased 9%. In Furniture, Flooring & Textile Products, sales grew 12%, and in Specialized Products, sales rose 10%.
The company increased its 2021 guidance to sales of $4.8 billion to $5 billion, and EPS of $2.55 to $2.75.