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Leggett & Platt records 4% earnings increase

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Carthage-based Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE: LEG) reported $54.7 million in second-quarter profits, a 3.8 percent uptick compared to $527.7 million earned in the same quarter of fiscal 2010.

Earnings per share were 37 cents for the quarter, up 3 from the same quarter last year. The company purchased 2 million of its shares during the quarter, with its outstanding share count declining to 141.5 million, according to a news release.

Leggett & Platt manufactures engineered components and products for homes, offices and vehicles.

The company recorded second-quarter sales of $945 million, an 8 percent increase compared to sales of $874 million in the same quarter of 2010.

“Operationally, it was a reasonably good quarter,” said David Haffner, president and CEO, in the release. “Gross profit improved by $2 million versus second quarter last year, despite lack of demand growth."

Leggett & Platt's board of directors has authorized a share repurchase plan of up to 10 million shares per year while issuing roughly 4 million shares, though it hasn't set a specific buyback commitment or timetable. So far this fiscal year, the company has purchased 7.4 million shares of its stock and issued 2.7 million shares, the release said.

"During the second quarter, as planned, we continued to repurchase our stock and allow net debt to increase slightly," Hafner said in the release. "Year-to-date, we have bought back 5 percent of our outstanding shares of stock while maintaining our strong financial base."

In the release, Haffner said the company continues to compare its total shareholder return to that of peer companies on a rolling three-year basis. During the three-year period that began Jan. 1, 2009, Leggett has generated total shareholder return of 23 percent per year on average – compared to the S&P 500 index average of 18 percent per year. Haffner said this helps the company to rate among the top half of the S&P 500 index.

Leggett & Platt shares were trading at $20.20 as of 9:18 a.m., compared to a 52-week range of $18.83 to $26.95.[[In-content Ad]]

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