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Leggett & Platt’s sales up while earnings dip

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Despite a sales increase, Leggett & Platt Inc.’s (NYSE: LEG) earnings fell 10 percent during the first quarter.

The Carthage-based manufacturer of engineered components and products for homes, offices and vehicles reported $77.9 million in profits, or 57 cents per diluted share. That’s down from $86.1 million, or 62 cents per share, a year earlier, according to a news release.

The company’s first-quarter sales climbed 7 percent to about $1 billion.

“Volume growth reflected continued strength in automotive and adjustable bed, but these gains were largely offset by soft demand in several other businesses,” Leggett & Platt President and CEO Karl Glassman said in the release. "Inflation continues to be a significant margin headwind. Steel costs increased in late 2017 and have further accelerated this year.”

First-quarter financial notes:
    •    The company purchased 1.2 million shares of its common stock for an investment of roughly $54 million.
    •    Same-location sales rose by 6 percent, compared with a 4 percent rise in first-quarter 2017.
    •    Cost of goods sold moved up 10.6 percent to $811.4 million.

As of March 31, Leggett & Platt’s assets were $3.7 billion. The company’s 22,000 employees work in 14 business units at 120 manufacturing plants in 18 countries, according to the release.

LEG shares were trading at $40.38 as of 8:52 a.m., compared with a 52-week range of $40.16 to $53.96.

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