Crane Co. (NYSE:CR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued on Thursday.

According to Zacks, “Crane Co. remains well-positioned to leverage benefits from its diversified product portfolio and a large client base, over the long run. Also, the company consistently undertakes organic and inorganic initiatives to expand its businesses. In third-quarter 2016, the company's earnings of $1.07 increased 3.9% year over year while revenue grew 3.6%. For 2016, the company revised its earnings guidance to $4.12-$4.20 per share from $4.00-$4.20 expected earlier. Core sales growth is now anticipated to be 0-2% versus the earlier forecast of (1.5%)-1.5%.  However, risks from foreign currency translation, stiff competition and uncertain global economic conditions can restrict its momentum in the near term. In fourth-quarter 2016, the company expects normal seasonality to soften engineered materials and merchandising systems businesses while less favorable mix to impact fluid handling business.”

CR has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Royal Bank Of Canada boosted their price target on Crane from $57.00 to $63.00 and gave the stock a “sector perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 27th. Avondale Partners reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Crane in a research note on Wednesday, October 12th. Credit Suisse Group AG reissued a “hold” rating on shares of Crane in a research note on Friday, August 5th. Bank of America Corp. raised Crane from an “underperform” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $70.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Friday, July 29th. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus boosted their price objective on Crane from $65.00 to $69.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 26th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and five have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Crane presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $60.08.

Analyst Recommendations for Crane (NYSE:CR)

Shares of Crane (NYSE:CR) opened at 73.54 on Thursday. The firm has a 50-day moving average price of $64.28 and a 200-day moving average price of $60.79. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.31 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.22 and a beta of 1.13. Crane has a 52 week low of $41.68 and a 52 week high of $73.62.

Crane (NYSE:CR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, October 24th. The company reported $1.07 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.01 by $0.06. Crane had a return on equity of 20.59% and a net margin of 9.17%. The company earned $694 million during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $666.89 million. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted ($0.13) EPS. The firm’s quarterly revenue was up 3.6% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts expect that Crane will post $4.18 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 9th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, November 30th will be issued a dividend of $0.33 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Monday, November 28th. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.79%. Crane’s dividend payout ratio is 30.99%.

In other news, Director E Thayer Bigelow sold 4,000 shares of Crane stock in a transaction on Wednesday, August 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.96, for a total transaction of $259,840.00. Following the transaction, the director now owns 21,791 shares in the company, valued at $1,415,543.36. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, insider Bradley Ellis sold 10,000 shares of Crane stock in a transaction on Friday, August 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $65.14, for a total value of $651,400.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 167,711 shares in the company, valued at approximately $10,924,694.54. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of CR. USA Financial Portformulas Corp purchased a new position in shares of Crane during the third quarter worth approximately $325,000. Morgan Stanley increased its position in shares of Crane by 2.0% in the third quarter. Morgan Stanley now owns 298,433 shares of the company’s stock worth $18,804,000 after buying an additional 5,842 shares during the period. Pacer Advisors Inc. increased its position in shares of Crane by 9.2% in the third quarter. Pacer Advisors Inc. now owns 4,281 shares of the company’s stock worth $270,000 after buying an additional 360 shares during the period. Nine Chapters Capital Management LLC purchased a new position in shares of Crane during the third quarter worth approximately $246,000. Finally, Principal Financial Group Inc. increased its position in shares of Crane by 12.0% in the third quarter. Principal Financial Group Inc. now owns 568,534 shares of the company’s stock worth $35,824,000 after buying an additional 60,789 shares during the period. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.06% of the company’s stock.

Crane Company Profile

Crane Co is a diversified manufacturer of engineered industrial products. The Company operates in four segments: 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.

5 Day Chart for NYSE:CR

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