Lear Co. (NYSE:LEA) – KeyCorp cut their FY2019 earnings estimates for Lear in a research report issued on Sunday, April 21st. KeyCorp analyst J. Picariello now anticipates that the auto parts company will post earnings of $17.75 per share for the year, down from their previous forecast of $18.00. KeyCorp has a “Overweight” rating and a $190.00 price objective on the stock.
A number of other brokerages have also recently weighed in on LEA. Robert W. Baird increased their target price on shares of Lear from $140.00 to $158.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Monday, January 28th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a “buy” rating and set a $182.00 target price (up from $163.00) on shares of Lear in a report on Monday, January 28th. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on shares of Lear from $185.00 to $181.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Monday, April 15th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Lear from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $175.00 target price on the stock in a report on Tuesday, February 5th. Finally, Seaport Global Securities started coverage on shares of Lear in a report on Wednesday, February 13th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $199.00 price objective on the stock. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating and twelve have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $178.87.
Lear (NYSE:LEA) last issued its earnings results on Friday, January 25th. The auto parts company reported $4.05 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $3.96 by $0.09. The company had revenue of $4.94 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $4.99 billion. Lear had a net margin of 5.37% and a return on equity of 27.12%. The firm’s revenue was down 7.9% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $4.38 earnings per share.
A number of institutional investors and hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the stock. Norges Bank bought a new position in Lear in the 4th quarter valued at about $653,026,000. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund grew its position in Lear by 11,007.8% in the 4th quarter. Oregon Public Employees Retirement Fund now owns 4,898,551 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $40,000 after buying an additional 4,854,451 shares in the last quarter. Harris Associates L P boosted its position in shares of Lear by 65.9% during the 4th quarter. Harris Associates L P now owns 3,424,807 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $420,772,000 after purchasing an additional 1,360,164 shares in the last quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA boosted its position in shares of Lear by 140.4% during the 4th quarter. Massachusetts Financial Services Co. MA now owns 2,841,520 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $349,110,000 after purchasing an additional 1,659,488 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Pzena Investment Management LLC bought a new position in shares of Lear during the 4th quarter valued at about $339,861,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 98.09% of the company’s stock.
In related news, EVP Terrence B. Larkin sold 18,985 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $155.28, for a total value of $2,947,990.80. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 2,752 shares in the company, valued at approximately $427,330.56. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Shari L. Burgess sold 3,500 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $156.00, for a total transaction of $546,000.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.37% of the stock is owned by company insiders.
Lear declared that its board has authorized a stock buyback plan on Thursday, February 7th that allows the company to buyback $1.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the auto parts company to buy up to 15.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are often an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.
Lear Company Profile
Lear Corporation designs, develops, engineers, manufactures, assembles, and supplies automotive seating, and electrical distribution systems and related components for automotive original equipment manufacturers worldwide. It operates in two segments, Seating and E-Systems. The Seating segment offers leather and fabric products, seat trim covers, recliner mechanisms, seat tracks and foams, seat structures and mechanisms, and headrests for automobiles and light trucks, compact cars, and sport utility vehicles; and heating and cooling systems.
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