Zacks Investment Research Upgrades MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) to Buy

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports. The firm currently has $124.00 target price on the industrial products company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “MSA Safety Inc. is engaged in the development, manufacture and supply of safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures. The company’s core product lines include self-contained breathing apparatus, fixed gas and flame detection systems, handheld gas detection instruments, industrial and fire service head protection products and fall protection devices. It serves a broad range of industries, including the oil, gas and petrochemical industry, the fire service, construction, mining and general industry. MSA Safety Inc., formerly known as Mine Safety Appliances Company, is headquartered in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania. “

Separately, Sidoti upgraded MSA Safety from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $113.00 target price for the company in a report on Tuesday, March 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $131.25.

MSA opened at $112.07 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50-day moving average price of $115.61 and a 200-day moving average price of $119.74. MSA Safety has a 12-month low of $83.57 and a 12-month high of $142.34. The company has a current ratio of 2.66, a quick ratio of 1.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.16 and a beta of 1.08.

MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) last posted its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 29th. The industrial products company reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by $0.23. The firm had revenue of $341.15 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $314.57 million. MSA Safety had a return on equity of 26.77% and a net margin of 11.07%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.6% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the business earned $1.14 EPS. On average, equities research analysts predict that MSA Safety will post 4.49 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 10th. Shareholders of record on Friday, May 22nd were issued a $0.43 dividend. The ex-dividend date was Thursday, May 21st. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.53%. This is a boost from MSA Safety’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. MSA Safety’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is 35.83%.

In other MSA Safety news, VP Steven C. Sr. Blanco sold 9,585 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.00, for a total value of $1,188,540.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 18,214 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,258,536. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Also, Director Diane M. Pearse sold 891 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 11th. The stock was sold at an average price of $120.61, for a total value of $107,463.51. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 30,654 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,697,178.94. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 7.00% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board raised its position in shares of MSA Safety by 39.3% in the 1st quarter. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board now owns 8,500 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $860,000 after acquiring an additional 2,400 shares in the last quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department raised its position in shares of MSA Safety by 10.3% in the 1st quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 45,155 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $4,570,000 after acquiring an additional 4,223 shares in the last quarter. Pantheon Investment Group LLC raised its position in shares of MSA Safety by 18.3% in the 1st quarter. Pantheon Investment Group LLC now owns 19,755 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,008,000 after acquiring an additional 3,054 shares in the last quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company raised its position in shares of MSA Safety by 3.2% in the 1st quarter. The Manufacturers Life Insurance Company now owns 72,411 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $7,328,000 after acquiring an additional 2,262 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Holdings Inc. bought a new position in shares of MSA Safety in the 1st quarter worth approximately $900,000. 77.96% of the stock is owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

About MSA Safety

MSA Safety Incorporated develops, manufactures, and supplies safety products that protect people and facility infrastructures in the oil, gas, petrochemical, fire service, construction, utilities, and mining industries worldwide. It operates through Americas and International segments. The company's core product offerings include permanently installed fixed gas and flame detection instruments, such as permanently installed gas detection monitoring systems, and flame detectors and open-path infrared gas detectors, as well as replacement components and related services to detect the presence or absence of various gases in the air.

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