William Blair began coverage on shares of MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) in a report issued on Thursday morning, Marketbeat.com reports. The brokerage issued a market perform rating and a $98.30 price objective on the industrial products company’s stock.

A number of other research firms have also recently commented on MSA. Zacks Investment Research cut MSA Safety from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Friday, December 28th. ValuEngine lowered MSA Safety from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Friday, December 7th. Robert W. Baird lowered MSA Safety from an outperform rating to a neutral rating and cut their price objective for the company from $107.00 to $98.00 in a research report on Friday, December 21st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus restated a buy rating and set a $115.00 price objective on shares of MSA Safety in a research report on Wednesday, December 19th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $100.83.

NYSE:MSA opened at $97.96 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 2.19, a quick ratio of 1.59 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56. The stock has a market cap of $3.78 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.31 and a beta of 1.34. MSA Safety has a 52 week low of $71.47 and a 52 week high of $110.83.

MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) last posted its quarterly earnings results on Wednesday, October 24th. The industrial products company reported $1.16 EPS for the quarter, beating the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.05 by $0.11. The business had revenue of $331.10 million for 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, analysts predict that MSA Safety will post 4.53 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In other news, insider Douglas K. Mcclaine sold 10,568 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated 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 transaction, the insider now owns 32,499 shares in the company, valued at $3,464,718.39. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Also, CFO Kenneth D. Krause sold 1,572 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 6th. The shares were sold at an average price of $107.00, for a total value of $168,204.00. Following the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 18,721 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $2,003,147. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. In the last 90 days, insiders have sold 35,226 shares of company stock valued at $3,755,082. Company insiders own 9.90% of the company’s stock.

Several institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of MSA. Strs Ohio grew its position in shares of MSA Safety by 50.0% during the second quarter. Strs Ohio now owns 3,000 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $289,000 after purchasing an additional 1,000 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. grew its position in shares of MSA Safety by 4.4% during the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,879,344 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $373,736,000 after purchasing an additional 162,191 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James & Associates grew its position in shares of MSA Safety by 4.5% during the second quarter. Raymond James & Associates now owns 51,169 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $4,930,000 after purchasing an additional 2,205 shares in the last quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. grew its position in shares of MSA Safety by 11.2% during the second quarter. First Republic Investment Management Inc. now owns 8,300 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $800,000 after purchasing an additional 837 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY grew its position in shares of MSA Safety by 3.1% during the second quarter. Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. NY now owns 19,990 shares of the industrial products company’s stock valued at $1,926,000 after purchasing an additional 609 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 71.84% 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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