Crane Company (CR) Lifted to “Buy” at Zacks Investment Research

Crane Company (NYSE:CR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, July 17th. The brokerage currently has a $93.00 price objective on the conglomerate’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s target price points to a potential upside of 25.52% from the company’s current price.

According to Zacks, “Over the last three months, shares of Crane Co. outperformed the Zacks categorized Diversified Operations industry. In the years ahead, the company anticipates benefiting from increasing demand for productivity solutions in Payment & Merchandising Technologies segment, high growth aerospace programs in Aerospace & Electronics, recovering orders in Fluid Handling and strengthening end-markets in Engineered Materials. For 2017, the company increased the lower-end of its previously issued earnings guidance of $4.30-$4.55 per share by $0.05 to $4.35-$4.55. Core sales will likely be flat to up 2%. Over the last 60 days, earnings estimates on the stock were revised upwards for 2017.”

CR has been the subject of several other research reports. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $90.00 price target (up previously from $82.00) on shares of Crane in a research note on Monday, May 1st. TheStreet raised Crane from a “c+” rating to a “b+” rating in a research note on Monday, April 24th. William Blair raised Crane from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, April 25th. BidaskClub raised Crane from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Saturday, July 8th. Finally, ValuEngine raised Crane from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, June 2nd. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $76.88.

Crane (NYSE:CR) traded up 0.50% during midday trading on Monday, reaching $74.09. 229,163 shares of the company were exchanged. The firm’s 50-day moving average price is $79.15 and its 200 day moving average price is $76.75. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.42 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 33.75 and a beta of 1.10. Crane has a 52-week low of $59.81 and a 52-week high of $84.34.

Crane (NYSE:CR) last posted its earnings results on Monday, July 24th. The conglomerate reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, meeting the consensus estimate of $1.17. The firm had revenue of $702.50 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $702.53 million. Crane had a return on equity of 20.57% and a net margin of 4.79%. The business’s quarterly revenue was down 1.4% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.21 earnings per share. Equities analysts predict that Crane will post $4.47 earnings per share for the current year.

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In other Crane news, VP Curtis A. Baron, Jr. sold 5,364 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.60, for a total value of $426,974.40. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 18,044 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,436,302.40. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, VP Kristian Robert Salovaara sold 9,200 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, August 4th. The shares were sold at an average price of $76.20, for a total value of $701,040.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 24,786 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,888,693.20. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Company insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

Several hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently bought and sold shares of the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. raised its position in Crane by 2.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 4,117,785 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $326,871,000 after buying an additional 95,817 shares in the last quarter. BlackRock Inc. raised its position in Crane by 2.0% in the second quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 4,077,492 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $323,668,000 after buying an additional 80,055 shares in the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC raised its position in Crane by 31.7% in the first quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC now owns 1,533,772 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $114,772,000 after buying an additional 369,589 shares in the last quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. raised its position in Crane by 115.7% in the second quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 1,273,069 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $101,056,000 after buying an additional 682,934 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Systematic Financial Management LP raised its position in Crane by 148.3% in the first quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP now owns 661,439 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $49,495,000 after buying an additional 395,055 shares in the last quarter. Institutional investors own 69.42% of the company’s stock.

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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