MSA Safety (MSA) Upgraded to “Hold” by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Friday morning.

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. “

Other equities analysts have also recently issued research reports about the company. ValuEngine upgraded MSA Safety from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, December 21st. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a buy rating and issued a $115.00 target price on shares of MSA Safety in a report on Wednesday, December 19th. William Blair started coverage on MSA Safety in a report on Thursday. They issued a market perform rating and a $98.30 target price for the company. Finally, Robert W. Baird cut MSA Safety from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and dropped their target price for the stock from $107.00 to $98.00 in a report on Friday, December 21st. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. MSA Safety currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $100.83.

Shares of MSA Safety stock opened at $97.96 on Friday. The company has a market capitalization of $3.78 billion, a PE ratio of 25.31 and a beta of 1.34. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 2.19 and a quick ratio of 1.59. MSA Safety has a one year low of $71.47 and a one year high of $110.83.

MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) last announced its earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The industrial products company reported $1.16 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.11. The firm had revenue of $331.10 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $325.53 million. MSA Safety had a return on equity of 28.12% and a net margin of 4.94%. As a group, research analysts forecast that MSA Safety will post 4.53 earnings per share for the current year.

In related news, insider Douglas K. Mcclaine sold 10,568 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, October 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.61, for a total transaction of $1,126,654.48. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 32,499 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,464,718.39. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Also, insider William M. Lambert sold 9,863 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 26th. The stock was sold at an average price of $106.49, for a total value of $1,050,310.87. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 52,284 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,567,723.16. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold a total of 35,226 shares of company stock valued at $3,755,082 over the last three months. 9.90% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Several hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the stock. Retirement Systems of Alabama increased its holdings in shares of MSA Safety by 0.4% in the 4th quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 45,382 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $4,278,000 after acquiring an additional 185 shares during the period. Vanguard Group Inc grew its stake in MSA Safety by 1.9% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc now owns 3,459,763 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $368,257,000 after buying an additional 64,529 shares during the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. grew its stake in MSA Safety by 1.9% during the 3rd quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,459,763 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $368,257,000 after buying an additional 64,529 shares during the last quarter. Morgan Stanley grew its stake in MSA Safety by 38.5% during the 3rd quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 223,591 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $23,800,000 after buying an additional 62,186 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Legal & General Group Plc grew its stake in MSA Safety by 4.8% during the 3rd quarter. Legal & General Group Plc now owns 34,298 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $3,651,000 after buying an additional 1,561 shares during the last quarter. 71.84% 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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