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Leggett & Platt increases sales, down in net earnings

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Carthage-based manufacturer Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG) reported third quarter earnings of 31 cents per diluted share, a 3-cent drop from the same quarter last year.

Net earnings for the quarter are $47.4 million, a 13 percent drop from third-quarter 2009 results, according to a company news release.

Decreased net earnings come despite an increase in net sales. The company sold $866.5 million in the third quarter this year, compared to $809.9 million in net sales in third quarter 2009. But, costs associated with goods sold and weakening of key markets, primarily residential furnishings, offset the final net result.

Leggett is projecting full-year 2010 sales of approximately $3.3 billion.

"We remain well-positioned as the economy recovers,"  CEO David S. Haffner said in the release. "Given our unused production capacity, sales can rebound to at least $4 billion before we need to invest much capital."

Sales in the quarter were helped by the sale of Leggett's Storage Products business to Delaware-based SPG International LLC for about $15 million.

"Strategically, during the quarter we completed the sale of the seventh, and last, of the businesses we planned to divest as part of the company's strategic realignment," Haffner said. "The seven divestitures collectively generated $433 million of after tax cash proceeds, exceeding the original $400 million goal."

Leggett & Platt shares were trading at $21.06 as of 10:45 a.m. today, compared to its 52-week range of $17.89 to $25.15.[[In-content Ad]]

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