Leggett & Platt, Incorporated (NYSE:LEG) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jan 30, 2015 • 09:00 am ET

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Leggett & Platt, Incorporated (NYSE:LEG) Q4 2014 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
operator

Greetings, and welcome to the Leggett & Platt Fourth Quarter 2014 Conference Call. At this time, all participants are in a listen-only mode. A brief question-and-answer session will follow the formal presentation. [Operator Instructions] As a reminder, this conference being recorded.

It is now my pleasure to introduce your host, David DeSonier, Senior Vice President, Strategy and Investor Relations for Leggett & Platt. Thank you, Sir.

Operator
operator

You may begin.

Executive
Dave DeSonier

Good morning and thank you for taking part in Leggett & Platt's fourth quarter conference call.I am Dave DeSonier and with me this morning are the following; Dave Haffner, our Board Chair and CEO; Karl Glassman, who is President and Chief Operating Officer; Matt Flanigan, our Executive VP and CFO; and Susan McCoy, our VP of Investor Relations.

The agenda for the call this morning is as follows. Dave Haffner will start with a summary of the major statements we made in yesterday's press release; Karl Glassman will provide segment highlights; Matt Flanagan will discuss financial details and address our outlook for 2015. And finally, the Group will answer any questions that you have. Perry Davis, who is Senior Vice President of the Company and President of the Residential Furnishing segment is also joining us this morning to participate in Q&A.

This conference is being recorded for Leggett & Platt and is copyrighted material. This call may not be transcribed, recorded or broadcast without our expressed permission. A replay is available from the IR portion of Leggett's website.(Forward Looking Cautionary Statements), I will now turn the call over to Dave Haffner.

Executive
Dave Haffner

Thank you, Dave.Good morning and thank you for participating in our call. 2014 was a record year and we're pleased to have ended on a very strong note. Full year sales from continuing operations grew 9% from a combination of strong organic growth in many of our major businesses and acquisitions.Fourth quarter sales grew 11% with same location sales up 6% and acquisitions adding 5%.

While demand in the majority of our markets improved in 2014, we also benefitted from the continued shift in bedding to Comfort Core springs, new adjustable bed programs that ramped up during the year and ongoing content gains and new program awards and automotive.Importantly, nearly all of our businesses are seeing positive sales momentum as we begin 2015. Full year adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations were a record $1.78, up 19% versus the adjusted $1.50 we earned in 2013.

Full year earnings largely benefited

Executive
Dave Haffner

from higher sales. Fourth quarter adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations grew to $0.41, up from an adjusted $0.38 per share in the fourth quarter of the prior year.

Earnings in the current quarter benefited from sales growth and lower LIFO expense, but this was partially offset by a higher adjusted tax rate and higher than expected stock compensation expense that resulted in large part from the significant increase in Leggett share price versus the market since late October. Matt will discuss this further in his comments.

Our adjusted