Leggett & Platt Sales Decrease in 4th Quarter

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Hampered by weak demand in two of its three business segments — bedding products and furniture, flooring and textile products — diversified manufacturer Leggett & Platt said fourth-quarter sales fell 7% to $1.115 billion. 

The Carthage, Missouri-based company also reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $297.3 million or $2.18 per share — due largely to one-time asset impairment charges. Without those charges, the company recorded earnings of 26 cents per share. In the final quarter of 2022, the company had net income of $52.8 million or 39 cents per share. 

The steepest sales decline was in the bedding products segment, which recorded fourth-quarter sales of $448.5 million, down 14% from $522.4 million in the final quarter of 2022. 

Sales in the furniture, flooring and textiles segment fell 6% to $348.1 million in the fourth quarter, while the specialized products segment saw a sales increase of 5% to $318.5 million. 

“2023 was another challenging year for residential end markets as our Bedding Products and Furniture, Flooring & Textile Products segments faced ongoing weak market demand,” said Mitch Dolloff, president and CEO. “Encouragingly, our Specialized Products segment benefited from sustained demand strength as industrial end markets continue to recover post-pandemic.” 

For the 2023 calendar year, companywide sales totaled $4.725 billion, down 8% from 2022. Due largely to the fourth-quarter asset impairment charge, the company recorded a net loss of $136.6 million or $1 per share for the year. In 2022, the company had net income of $309.8 million or $2.27 per share. 

The company said sales in the bedding products segment fell 17% to $1.965 billion in 2023, while sales in the furniture, flooring and textiles segment were down 11% to $1.481 billion in the same period. Meanwhile, the specialized products segment recorded a sales increase of 14% to $1.28 billion.  

Dolloff said the company is forecasting a slight improvement in demand in 2024 but is still projecting a companywide sales decline of 2% to 8%. That would put sales for the year at $4.35 billion to $4.65 billion. He said volume is expected to be down in the high single digits in bedding products and down in the low single digits in furniture, flooring and textiles. 

Earnings per share in 2024 are projected at 95 cents to $1.25. The forecast includes a negative impact of 20 cents to 25 cents per share for costs for the recently announced restructuring of its bedding and furniture, flooring and textiles segments, and a gain of 10 cents to 15 cents per share from real estate sales.

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