MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) Raised to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $124.00 price objective 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 raised MSA Safety from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $113.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Tuesday, March 24th. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $131.25.

Shares of MSA stock opened at $112.37 on Tuesday. The stock’s 50-day simple moving average is $115.34 and its 200-day simple moving average is $119.60. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.55, a quick ratio of 1.92 and a current ratio of 2.66. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.45 billion, a PE ratio of 28.16 and a beta of 1.10. MSA Safety has a fifty-two week low of $83.57 and a fifty-two week high of $142.34.

MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, April 29th. The industrial products company reported $1.18 earnings per share for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $0.95 by $0.23. The business had revenue of $341.15 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates 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 was up 4.6% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $1.14 earnings per share. Sell-side analysts forecast that MSA Safety will post 4.49 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, June 10th. Stockholders of record on Friday, May 22nd were issued a dividend of $0.43 per share. This represents a $1.72 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.53%. This is a positive change from MSA Safety’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.42. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Thursday, May 21st. MSA Safety’s payout ratio is 35.83%.

In other news, VP Steven C. Sr. Blanco sold 9,585 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 5th. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.00, for a total transaction of $1,188,540.00. Following the sale, the vice president now directly owns 18,214 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,258,536. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, Director Diane M. Pearse sold 891 shares of MSA Safety stock in a transaction dated Monday, May 11th. The shares were sold at an average price of $120.61, for a total value of $107,463.51. Following the completion of the transaction, 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. Insiders own 7.00% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the company. New Mexico Educational Retirement Board raised its position in MSA Safety by 39.3% during the first 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 during the period. State of Tennessee Treasury Department increased its stake in shares of MSA Safety by 10.3% during the first quarter. State of Tennessee Treasury Department now owns 45,155 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $4,570,000 after purchasing an additional 4,223 shares in the last quarter. Pantheon Investment Group LLC increased its stake in shares of MSA Safety by 18.3% during the first quarter. Pantheon Investment Group LLC now owns 19,755 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,008,000 after purchasing 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% during 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 purchasing an additional 2,262 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Advisor Group Holdings Inc. purchased a new position in MSA Safety in the 1st quarter valued at about $900,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 77.96% of the company’s stock.

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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