Chicago Equity Partners LLC reduced its holdings in shares of Lear Co. (NYSE:LEA) by 63.8% in the fourth quarter, according to the company in its most recent 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The firm owned 22,645 shares of the auto parts company’s stock after selling 39,970 shares during the period. Chicago Equity Partners LLC’s holdings in Lear were worth $2,782,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

A number of other hedge funds and other institutional investors have also modified their holdings of the stock. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. lifted its position in Lear by 7.8% during the 4th quarter. Daiwa SB Investments Ltd. now owns 1,250 shares of the auto parts company’s stock valued at $154,000 after acquiring an additional 90 shares during the period. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. raised its holdings in Lear by 4.4% in the fourth quarter. Lenox Wealth Management Inc. now owns 4,327 shares of the auto parts company’s stock worth $532,000 after buying an additional 182 shares during the last quarter. IMS Capital Management purchased a new position in Lear in the third quarter worth about $38,000. Massey Quick Simon & CO. LLC purchased a new position in Lear in the fourth quarter worth about $32,000. Finally, Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. raised its holdings in Lear by 18.8% in the fourth quarter. Benjamin F. Edwards & Company Inc. now owns 2,091 shares of the auto parts company’s stock worth $257,000 after buying an additional 331 shares during the last quarter. 96.53% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

Shares of LEA stock opened at $153.59 on Thursday. Lear Co. has a 52 week low of $114.45 and a 52 week high of $206.36. The company has a market capitalization of $9.59 billion, a PE ratio of 8.43, a P/E/G ratio of 3.31 and a beta of 1.40. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.45, a current ratio of 1.40 and a quick ratio of 1.13.

Lear (NYSE:LEA) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Friday, January 25th. The auto parts company reported $4.05 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $3.96 by $0.09. Lear had a net margin of 5.37% and a return on equity of 27.12%. The firm had revenue of $4.94 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.99 billion. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $4.38 earnings per share. The business’s revenue for the quarter was down 7.9% on a year-over-year basis. Equities research analysts anticipate that Lear Co. will post 17.91 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, March 20th. Investors of record on Friday, March 1st will be given a dividend of $0.75 per share. This represents a $3.00 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.95%. This is a positive change from Lear’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.70. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Thursday, February 28th. Lear’s payout ratio is 15.37%.

Lear announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a stock repurchase plan on Thursday, February 7th that allows the company to buyback $1.50 billion in shares. This buyback authorization allows the auto parts company to purchase up to 15.6% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock buyback plans are usually a sign that the company’s management believes its stock is undervalued.

LEA has been the subject of several recent analyst reports. Buckingham Research raised shares of Lear from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, January 7th. UBS Group lifted their target price on shares of Lear from $143.00 to $164.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a report on Wednesday, January 16th. Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on shares of Lear in a report on Thursday, December 13th. They issued a “buy” rating for the company. KeyCorp initiated coverage on shares of Lear in a report on Monday, December 10th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $178.00 target price for the company. Finally, Barclays set a $140.00 target price on shares of Lear and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, January 4th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and thirteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Lear presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $183.40.

In related news, Director Richard Harold Bott sold 789 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $135.13, for a total transaction of $106,617.57. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Insiders own 0.43% of the company’s stock.

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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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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Lear (NYSE:LEA)

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