MSA Safety (MSA) Downgraded to “Sell” at Zacks Investment Research

MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, Zacks.com reports.

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. “

MSA has been the subject of several other reports. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 target price on shares of MSA Safety in a research note on Wednesday, December 19th. ValuEngine upgraded shares of MSA Safety from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 21st. William Blair initiated coverage on shares of MSA Safety in a report on Thursday, January 10th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $98.30 price target for the company. Finally, Robert W. Baird downgraded shares of MSA Safety from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their price target for the stock from $107.00 to $98.00 in a report on Friday, December 21st. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have assigned a hold rating and one has given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $106.10.



NYSE MSA opened at $106.91 on Tuesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54, a current ratio of 2.33 and a quick ratio of 1.77. MSA Safety has a fifty-two week low of $84.20 and a fifty-two week high of $110.83. The firm has a market cap of $4.12 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.76 and a beta of 1.31.

MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) last released its earnings results on Thursday, February 21st. The industrial products company reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.26 by $0.01. MSA Safety had a return on equity of 27.35% and a net margin of 9.14%. The firm had revenue of $361.78 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $359.32 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.31 earnings per share. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. As a group, analysts predict that MSA Safety will post 4.81 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other news, Director L Edward Shaw, Jr. sold 50,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $104.02, for a total transaction of $5,201,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 467,238 shares in the company, valued at $48,602,096.76. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, insider William M. Lambert sold 24,592 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, March 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $103.50, for a total transaction of $2,545,272.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 56,734 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,871,969. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 9.90% of the stock is currently owned by corporate insiders.

Large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Quantamental Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in MSA Safety in the fourth quarter valued at $28,000. Ffcm LLC increased its holdings in MSA Safety by 329.5% in the fourth quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 378 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $36,000 after purchasing an additional 290 shares during the period. Simplex Trading LLC acquired a new stake in MSA Safety in the fourth quarter valued at $84,000. Berman Capital Advisors LLC acquired a new stake in MSA Safety in the fourth quarter valued at $168,000. Finally, Tower Research Capital LLC TRC increased its holdings in MSA Safety by 672.5% in the third quarter. Tower Research Capital LLC TRC now owns 1,939 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $206,000 after purchasing an additional 1,688 shares during the period. Institutional investors own 73.54% of the company’s stock.

MSA Safety Company Profile

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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