MSA Safety Inc (NYSE:MSA) saw a significant growth in short interest during the month of February. As of February 28th, there was short interest totalling 1,021,170 shares, a growth of 47.5% from the February 15th total of 692,182 shares. Currently, 2.9% of the company’s stock are sold short. Based on an average daily volume of 280,586 shares, the short-interest ratio is presently 3.6 days.
Shares of MSA stock opened at $102.88 on Wednesday. MSA Safety has a fifty-two week low of $80.08 and a fifty-two week high of $110.83. The stock has a market cap of $3.93 billion, a PE ratio of 22.86 and a beta of 1.31. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.54, a quick ratio of 1.77 and a current ratio of 2.33.
MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, February 21st. The industrial products company reported $1.27 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ 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 business had revenue of $361.78 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $359.32 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $1.31 earnings per share. The company’s revenue was up 4.5% on a year-over-year basis. Sell-side analysts predict that MSA Safety will post 4.81 EPS for the current year.
The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Sunday, March 10th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, February 19th were paid a dividend of $0.38 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Friday, February 15th. This represents a $1.52 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.48%. MSA Safety’s payout ratio is 33.78%.
Several equities analysts have issued reports on MSA shares. Robert W. Baird lowered MSA Safety from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and cut their target price for the company from $107.00 to $98.00 in a research note on Friday, December 21st. Zacks Investment Research lowered MSA Safety from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Friday, January 18th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a “buy” rating and set a $115.00 price target on shares of MSA Safety in a research note on Wednesday, December 19th. ValuEngine upgraded MSA Safety from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, December 21st. Finally, William Blair assumed coverage on MSA Safety in a research note on Thursday, January 10th. They set a “market perform” rating and a $98.30 price target on the stock. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $106.10.
In other MSA Safety news, Director L Edward Shaw, Jr. sold 50,000 shares of MSA Safety stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, February 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $104.02, for a total value of $5,201,000.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 467,238 shares in the company, valued at $48,602,096.76. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Also, insider William M. Lambert sold 24,592 shares of MSA Safety stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, March 13th. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.50, for a total value of $2,545,272.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 56,734 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,871,969. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 9.90% of the stock is owned by insiders.
Hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the company. Retirement Systems of Alabama lifted its holdings in shares of MSA Safety by 0.4% during the fourth quarter. Retirement Systems of Alabama now owns 45,382 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $4,278,000 after purchasing an additional 185 shares during the period. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC lifted its holdings in shares of MSA Safety by 2.9% during the fourth quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 7,060 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $666,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the period. Arizona State Retirement System lifted its holdings in shares of MSA Safety by 1.2% during the fourth quarter. Arizona State Retirement System now owns 25,123 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $2,368,000 after purchasing an additional 288 shares during the period. Ffcm LLC lifted its holdings in shares of MSA Safety by 329.5% during the fourth quarter. Ffcm LLC now owns 378 shares of the industrial products company’s stock worth $36,000 after purchasing an additional 290 shares during the period. Finally, Quantamental Technologies LLC acquired a new stake in shares of MSA Safety during the fourth quarter worth about $28,000. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 72.49% of the company’s stock.
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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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