As others have pointed out, LEA (load effective address) is often used as a "trick" to do certain computations, but that's not its primary purpose. The x86 instruction set was designed to support high-level languages like Pascal and C, where arrays—especially arrays of ints or small structs—are common. Consider, for example, a struct representing (x, y) coordinates:
Now imagine a statement like:
int y = points[i].ycoord;
where points is an array of Point. Assuming the base of the array is already in EBX, and variable i is in EAX, and xcoord and ycoord are each 32 bits (so ycoord is at offset 4 bytes in the struct), this statement can be compiled to:
MOV EDX, [EBX + 8*EAX + 4] ; right side is "effective address"
which will land y in EDX. The scale factor of 8 is because each Point is 8 bytes in size. Now consider the same expression used with the "address of" operator &:
int *p = &points[i].ycoord;
In this case, you don't want the value of ycoord, but its address. That's where LEA (load effective address) comes in. Instead of a MOV, the compiler can generate
As a result, most compilers are very conservative about reordering floating point calculations unless they can be sure that the answer will stay the same, or unless you tell them you don't care about numerical accuracy. For example: the -fassociative-math option of gcc which allows gcc to reassociate floating point operations, or even the -ffast-math option which allows even more aggressive tradeoffs of accuracy against speed.