Crane (CR) Rating Lowered to Hold at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Crane (NYSE:CR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning.

According to Zacks, “In the last three months, Crane's shares have outperformed the industry. In fourth-quarter 2017, the company's earnings grew 15.7% year over year while also exceeded the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.85%. For 2018, the company anticipates organic growth to add 42 cents to earnings per share while predicts 15 cents from the Crane Currency buyout, 10 cents from repositioning activities and 50 cents from lower taxes. However, incremental growth investments will negatively impact earnings by 25 cents. Earnings for the full year are likely to come in within the $5.35-$5.55 per share range. Total sales will grow 18.5%, including core sales growth of 2-4%. However, Crane faces risks from headwinds like stiff competition, uncertain economic conditions in the foreign nations it serves and failure to comply with governmental regulations. Also, the stock is overvalued compared to the industry.”

A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on CR. Bank of America raised their target price on shares of Crane from $104.00 to $120.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Thursday, February 1st. ValuEngine raised shares of Crane from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Friday, February 2nd. Stifel Nicolaus raised shares of Crane from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their target price for the company from $99.00 to $113.00 in a report on Wednesday, January 31st. Canaccord Genuity raised their target price on shares of Crane from $95.00 to $110.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Tuesday, January 30th. Finally, Oppenheimer reissued a buy rating and issued a $105.00 target price (up from $92.00) on shares of Crane in a report on Wednesday, January 31st. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $106.28.

Shares of Crane (CR) opened at $89.45 on Tuesday. The company has a current ratio of 1.81, a quick ratio of 1.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. Crane has a fifty-two week low of $70.56 and a fifty-two week high of $102.65. The stock has a market cap of $5,524.88, a P/E ratio of 31.50, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.32 and a beta of 1.20.

Crane (NYSE:CR) last announced its quarterly earnings data on Monday, January 29th. The conglomerate reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.17 by $0.01. Crane had a net margin of 6.17% and a return on equity of 20.66%. The business had revenue of $714.20 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $702.50 million. During the same period last year, the firm posted $1.02 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 4.8% on a year-over-year basis. equities research analysts anticipate that Crane will post 5.39 earnings per share for the current year.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 9th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, February 28th will be paid a dividend of $0.35 per share. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a yield of 1.57%. This is a positive change from Crane’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, February 27th. Crane’s payout ratio is presently 46.48%.

In other Crane news, VP Augustus I. Dupont sold 16,396 shares of Crane stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $97.74, for a total transaction of $1,602,545.04. Following the completion of the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 102,994 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $10,066,633.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Also, Director James L. L Tullis sold 2,000 shares of Crane stock in a transaction on Wednesday, November 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $81.44, for a total transaction of $162,880.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 2,110 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $171,838.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Several large investors have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Principal Financial Group Inc. lifted its position in shares of Crane by 13.1% during the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,440,120 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $115,195,000 after purchasing an additional 167,051 shares during the last quarter. State Street Corp lifted its position in shares of Crane by 2.1% during the second quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,294,600 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $102,771,000 after purchasing an additional 26,771 shares during the last quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC lifted its position in shares of Crane by 0.4% during the third quarter. Gabelli Funds LLC now owns 1,135,100 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $90,797,000 after purchasing an additional 4,000 shares during the last quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. lifted its position in shares of Crane by 31.9% during the fourth quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 874,707 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $78,041,000 after purchasing an additional 211,710 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Bank of New York Mellon Corp lifted its position in shares of Crane by 0.8% during the third quarter. Bank of New York Mellon Corp now owns 647,568 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $51,798,000 after purchasing an additional 5,071 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 67.53% of the company’s stock.

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About Crane

Crane Co (Crane) is a manufacturer of engineered industrial products. The Company operates through four segments, including Fluid Handling, Payment & Merchandising Technologies, Aerospace & Electronics, and Engineered Materials. The Fluid Handling segment is a provider of engineered fluid handling equipment, including Process Valves and Related Products, Commercial Valves and Other Products.

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