Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Crane Company (NYSE:CR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Wednesday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $89.00 price target on the conglomerate’s stock.

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 both 2017 and 2018.”

Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on the stock. Bank of America Corporation raised shares of Crane Company from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $90.00 price objective on the stock in a research report on Monday, March 6th. TheStreet raised shares of Crane Company from a c+ rating to a b+ rating in a research report on Monday, April 24th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reissued an outperform rating and issued a $90.00 price objective (up from $82.00) on shares of Crane Company in a research report on Monday, May 1st. Stifel Nicolaus increased their price objective on shares of Crane Company from $80.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Wednesday, April 26th. Finally, Canaccord Genuity raised shares of Crane Company from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their price objective for the company from $78.00 to $92.00 in a research report on Tuesday, May 16th. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $73.40.

Shares of Crane Company (NYSE:CR) opened at 79.40 on Wednesday. Crane Company has a 52-week low of $54.05 and a 52-week high of $82.35. The firm has a 50-day moving average of $78.43 and a 200 day moving average of $75.28. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.72 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 36.07 and a beta of 1.06.

Crane Company (NYSE:CR) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Monday, April 24th. The conglomerate reported $1.05 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.00 by $0.05. The company had revenue of $673.40 million for the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $655.84 million. Crane Company had a net margin of 4.74% and a return on equity of 20.85%. The company’s revenue was up 2.0% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $0.93 earnings per share. Analysts predict that Crane Company will post $4.50 EPS for the current year.

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The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Friday, June 9th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, May 31st were paid a dividend of $0.33 per share. The ex-dividend date was Friday, May 26th. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.66%. Crane Company’s payout ratio is 60.55%.

In other Crane Company news, Director Philip R. Lochner sold 2,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, April 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.21, for a total transaction of $160,420.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 2,350 shares in the company, valued at $188,493.50. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Also, VP Curtis A. Baron, Jr. sold 5,364 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of $79.60, for a total transaction of $426,974.40. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 18,044 shares in the company, valued at $1,436,302.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders have sold 26,392 shares of company stock worth $2,109,190 over the last quarter. Corporate insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

A number of large investors have recently made changes to their positions in CR. BlackRock Inc. increased its stake in shares of Crane Company by 9,355.1% in the first quarter. BlackRock Inc. now owns 3,997,437 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $299,129,000 after buying an additional 3,955,159 shares during the last quarter. AQR Capital Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Crane Company 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 during the last quarter. State Street Corp increased its stake in shares of Crane Company by 2.9% in the fourth quarter. State Street Corp now owns 1,306,170 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $94,203,000 after buying an additional 37,057 shares during the last quarter. Systematic Financial Management LP increased its stake in shares of Crane Company 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 during the last quarter. Finally, Norges Bank purchased a new stake in shares of Crane Company during the fourth quarter worth about $44,392,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 69.08% of the company’s stock.

About Crane Company

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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