Sector Snap: Mattress companies

Mattress companies rise as industry data shows improved shipments in January

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of mattress companies climbed Wednesday as some industry data showed improved shipments in January.

Bradley Thomas of KeyBanc Capital Markets said in a client note that the International Sleep Products Association reported mattress unit shipments rose 1.3 percent in January. This was markedly better than the 5 percent drop in December.

Thomas said that the performance was better than expected, particularly since it faced a tough year-ago comparison. The figure increased 16.6 percent in the prior-year period.

ISPA data represents a sample of mattress companies such as Sealy Corp. Select Comfort Corp. and Tempur-Pedic International Inc.

Sealy shares were flat at $2.18 in afternoon trading, while Select Comfort rose 14 cents to $20.59. Tempur-Pedic was up $2.57, or 6.8 percent, to $40.45.

Citi Investment Research's Kate McShane said that the ISPA data is an encouraging sign for the sector, noting that the monthly results are consistent with recent comments from mattress companies about the industry potentially starting to stabilize.

McShane kept a "Buy" rating on Mattress Firm Holding Corp. The stock rose $1.21, or 4.6 percent, to $27.66.

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