Dividends4Life: Stock Analysis: Leggett & Platt Inc. (LEG)

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Stock Analysis: Leggett & Platt Inc. (LEG)

Posted by D4L | Thursday, March 25, 2010 | | 1 comments »

This article originally appeared on The DIV-Net March 15, 2010.

Linked here is a detailed quantitative analysis of Leggett & Platt Inc. (LEG). Below are some highlights from the above linked analysis:

Company Description: Leggett & Platt Inc makes a broad line of bedding and furniture components and other home, office and commercial furnishings, as well as diversified products for non-furnishings markets.

Fair Value: I consider four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

  1. Avg. High Yield Price
  2. 20-Year DCF Price
  3. Avg. P/E Price
  4. Graham Number
LEG is trading at a discount to only 3.) above. Since LEG's tangible book value is not meaningful, a Graham number can not be calculated. The stock is trading at a 62.8% premium to its calculated fair value of $13.08. LEG did not earn any Stars in this section.

Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:
  1. Free Cash Flow Payout
  2. Debt To Total Capital
  3. Key Metrics
  4. Dividend Growth Rate
  5. Years of Div. Growth
  6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%
LEG earned three Stars in this section for 1.), 2.) and 3.) above. A Star was earned since the Free Cash Flow payout ratio was less than 60% and there were no negative Free Cash Flows over the last 10 years. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. LEG earned a Star for having an acceptable score in at least two of the four Key Metrics measured. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1939 and has increased its dividend payments for 38 consecutive years.

Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA)? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:
  1. NPV MMA Diff.
  2. Years to > MMA
LEG earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $563. This amount is in excess of the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as LEG has. The stock's current yield of 4.88% exceeds the 3.98% estimated 20-year average MMA rate.

Other: LEG is a member of the S&P 500 and a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers™ Index.

Conclusion: LEG did not earn any Stars in the Fair Value section, earned three Stars in the Dividend Analytical Data section and earned one Star in the Dividend Income vs. MMA section for a total of four Stars. This quantitatively ranks LEG as a 4 Star-Buy.

Using my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, I determined the share price would need to increase to $21.97 before LEG's NPV MMA Differential decreased to the $500 minimum that I look for in a stock with 38 years of consecutive dividend increases. At that price the stock would yield 4.73%.

Resetting the D4L-PreScreen.xls model and solving for the dividend growth rate needed to generate the target $500 NPV MMA Differential, the calculated rate is 1.6%. This dividend growth rate is less than the 2.0% used in this analysis, thus providing a margin of safety. LEG has a risk rating of 1.50 which classifies it as a low risk stock.

A sign of a well managed company is the ability to increase cash flow in the face of falling sales and earnings. LEG's sales and earnings peaked in 2006. However, free cash flow per share has doubled since that time. 2010 should not be any different with S&P forcasting LEG's customer markets recovering late this year and moving to positive sales growth. Earlier this month I initiated position in LEG in spite of the fact it was trading well in excess of my $17.94 fair value price. Since then, LEG has appreciated an additional 5%. For additional information, including the stock's dividend history, please refer to its data page.

Disclaimer: Material presented here is for informational purposes only. The above quantitative stock analysis, including the Star rating, is mechanically calculated and is based on historical information. The analysis assumes the stock will perform in the future as it has in the past. This is generally never true. Before buying or selling any stock you should do your own research and reach your own conclusion. See my Disclaimer for more information.

Full Disclosure: At the time of this writing, I was long in LEG (1.2% of my Income Portfolio). See a list of all my income holdings here.

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  1. Freddy // March 29, 2010 at 8:35 AM

    Great info about good stock :)

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