Lear (LEA) Stock Rating Lowered by Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Lear (NYSE:LEA) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Lear Corporation is a leading global supplier of automotive seating systems, electrical distribution systems and electronics. The seating segment consists of the manufacture, assembly and supply of vehicle seating requirements. The Company produces seat systems for automobiles and light trucks that are fully assembled and ready for installation. The electrical and electronic segment consists of the manufacture, assembly and supply of electrical and electronic systems and components for the vehicle. The Company is able to provide its customers with engineering and design solutions and manufactured systems, modules and components that optimally integrate the electrical distribution system of wiring, terminals and connectors, junction boxes and electronic modules within the overall architecture of the vehicle. Lear Corporation is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan. “

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Other equities research analysts have also recently issued reports about the company. Citigroup reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $234.00 price target (up from $202.00) on shares of Lear in a research note on Wednesday, February 14th. Deutsche Bank raised Lear from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $176.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, February 7th. Cowen reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $220.00 price target on shares of Lear in a research note on Friday, January 19th. Longbow Research initiated coverage on Lear in a research note on Friday, January 5th. They issued a buy rating and a $225.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Jefferies Group reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $231.00 price target on shares of Lear in a research note on Monday, January 29th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating, eleven have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $194.72.

Shares of LEA stock opened at $186.09 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $12,453.14, a P/E ratio of 10.95 and a beta of 1.46. Lear has a twelve month low of $132.01 and a twelve month high of $202.42. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a quick ratio of 1.11 and a current ratio of 1.36.

Lear (NYSE:LEA) last issued its quarterly earnings results on Friday, January 26th. The auto parts company reported $4.38 earnings per share for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $4.25 by $0.13. The company had revenue of $5.36 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.27 billion. Lear had a return on equity of 30.32% and a net margin of 6.42%. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 15.5% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $3.80 earnings per share. equities analysts anticipate that Lear will post 18.85 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

Lear announced that its board has approved a share repurchase program on Wednesday, February 14th that authorizes the company to repurchase $954.00 million in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization authorizes the auto parts company to repurchase shares of its stock through open market purchases. Shares repurchase programs are usually an indication that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

The business also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Monday, March 26th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, March 7th were paid a $0.70 dividend. This is a boost from Lear’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.50. This represents a $2.80 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.50%. The ex-dividend date was Tuesday, March 6th. Lear’s dividend payout ratio is currently 16.47%.

In other news, SVP Thomas A. Didonato sold 9,618 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $190.16, for a total value of $1,828,958.88. Following the sale, the senior vice president now directly owns 15,694 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,984,371.04. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, insider Jay K. Kunkel sold 3,006 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $190.16, for a total value of $571,620.96. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 12,056 shares in the company, valued at $2,292,568.96. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Over the last three months, insiders sold 261,115 shares of company stock worth $49,699,331. Insiders own 0.49% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Boston Partners lifted its holdings in shares of Lear by 1.4% during the fourth quarter. Boston Partners now owns 1,185,890 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $209,499,000 after purchasing an additional 16,426 shares in the last quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH lifted its holdings in shares of Lear by 3.0% during the third quarter. Allianz Asset Management GmbH now owns 951,518 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $164,689,000 after purchasing an additional 27,368 shares in the last quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP lifted its holdings in shares of Lear by 4.8% during the third quarter. Dimensional Fund Advisors LP now owns 933,481 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $161,573,000 after purchasing an additional 42,464 shares in the last quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. lifted its holdings in shares of Lear by 12.5% during the fourth quarter. APG Asset Management N.V. now owns 887,521 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $130,571,000 after purchasing an additional 98,900 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Investec Asset Management LTD lifted its holdings in shares of Lear by 13.8% during the fourth quarter. Investec Asset Management LTD now owns 801,171 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $141,535,000 after purchasing an additional 97,214 shares in the last quarter. 95.77% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

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About Lear

Lear Corporation designs, develops, engineers, manufactures, assembles, and supplies automotive seating, and electrical distribution systems and related components primarily to automotive original equipment manufacturers worldwide. The company operates through Seating and E-Systems segments. The Seating segment includes seat systems and related components, such as leather and fabric products, seat trim covers, recliner mechanisms, seat tracks, seat structures and mechanisms, seat foams, and headrests primarily for automobiles and light trucks, compact cars, and sport utility vehicles, as well as thermoelectric seat heating and cooling systems.

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