MSA Safety Inc. (NYSE:MSA) saw unusually-strong trading volume on Thursday . Approximately 221,461 shares traded hands during mid-day trading, an increase of 58% from the previous session’s volume of 140,067 shares.The stock last traded at $56.75 and had previously closed at $56.01.

A number of equities research analysts recently issued reports on MSA shares. Sidoti lowered shares of MSA Safety from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, April 19th. TheStreet raised shares of MSA Safety from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Monday, March 28th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus raised shares of MSA Safety from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $61.00 price objective for the company in a report on Tuesday, June 14th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company. MSA Safety currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $54.25.

The company has a market capitalization of $2.15 billion and a P/E ratio of 29.74. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $52.45 and a 200 day moving average of $46.93.

MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) last released its quarterly earnings results on Thursday, April 28th. The company reported $0.48 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $0.44 by $0.04. During the same period last year, the firm earned $0.42 EPS. The firm had revenue of $279.27 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $274.16 million. The company’s quarterly revenue was up 8.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that MSA Safety Inc. will post $2.74 EPS for the current year.

In other news, Director L Edward Shaw, Jr. sold 1,281 shares of MSA Safety stock in a transaction on Friday, May 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.07, for a total transaction of $61,577.67. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 510,271 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $24,528,726.97. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, Director Diane M. Pearse sold 1,283 shares of MSA Safety stock in a transaction on Friday, May 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $48.00, for a total value of $61,584.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 20,120 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $965,760. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

Other hedge funds and institutional investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Clifford Swan Investment Counsel LLC increased its position in MSA Safety by 50.6% in the fourth quarter. Clifford Swan Investment Counsel LLC now owns 52,610 shares of the company’s stock valued at $2,287,000 after buying an additional 17,684 shares during the period. Edge Asset Management Inc. increased its position in MSA Safety by 3.0% in the fourth quarter. Edge Asset Management Inc. now owns 399,431 shares of the company’s stock valued at $17,363,000 after buying an additional 11,683 shares during the period. Comerica Bank increased its position in MSA Safety by 14.8% in the fourth quarter. Comerica Bank now owns 84,986 shares of the company’s stock valued at $3,455,000 after buying an additional 10,929 shares during the period. First Trust Advisors LP increased its position in MSA Safety by 9.2% in the fourth quarter. First Trust Advisors LP now owns 28,869 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,255,000 after buying an additional 2,438 shares during the period. Finally, TD Asset Management Inc. increased its position in MSA Safety by 11.5% in the fourth quarter. TD Asset Management Inc. now owns 23,287 shares of the company’s stock valued at $1,012,000 after buying an additional 2,400 shares during the period.

Mine Safety Appliances Company is engaged in the development, manufacture and supply of products that protect people’s health and safety. The Company’s line of safety products is used by workers worldwide in the fire service, homeland security, oil and gas, construction and other industries, as well as the military.

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