Leggett & Platt
Here’s a gem of a company that you’ve probably never come across in your day-to-day. Leggett & Platt (LEG), founded in 1883, designs, manufactures and sells engineered components for home and industrial use — in other words, things like mattress springs and coils, carpet underlays and landscaping filter and drainage fabrics.
That doesn’t sound exciting, but Leggett’s product lines put it in a great space as the economy (and importantly, the housing market) continues to show signs of recovery. Its trajectory is already attractive — revenues increased by 21% from 2009 to 2012, with earnings more than doubling over that same period.
Dividend investors will like its great cash situation — free cash flow of $269 million easily covered its 2012 dividend payment, and it has another $450 million in the bank. That’ll help LEG extend its 41 consecutive years of improving its quarterly payout.