Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Crane (NYSE:CR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report published on Friday morning. Zacks Investment Research currently has $111.00 price target on the conglomerate’s stock.

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%. Returning higher value to shareholders remains a priority for Crane. It recently hiked its quarterly rate by 6%.”

Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Crane from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday. Bank of America raised their price objective on shares of Crane from $104.00 to $120.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Thursday, February 1st. Canaccord Genuity lowered their price objective on shares of Crane from $100.00 to $99.95 in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Oppenheimer restated a buy rating and issued a $105.00 price objective (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Crane in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of Crane from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their price objective for the stock from $99.00 to $113.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $106.28.

Crane (NYSE:CR) opened at $93.69 on Friday. Crane has a twelve month low of $70.56 and a twelve month high of $102.65. The company has a current ratio of 1.81, a quick ratio of 1.40 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37. The company has a market capitalization of $5,580.00, a P/E ratio of 32.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.37 and a beta of 1.20.

Crane (NYSE:CR) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Monday, January 29th. The conglomerate reported $1.18 EPS for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $1.17 by $0.01. Crane had a return on equity of 20.66% and a net margin of 6.17%. The company had revenue of $714.20 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $702.50 million. During the same quarter last year, the company posted $1.02 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 4.8% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts forecast that Crane will post 5.43 EPS for the current year.

The business also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, March 9th. Stockholders of record on Wednesday, February 28th will be paid a $0.35 dividend. This is an increase from Crane’s previous quarterly dividend of $0.33. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Tuesday, February 27th. This represents a $1.40 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.49%. Crane’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) 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 sale, the vice president now owns 102,994 shares in the company, valued at $10,066,633.56. The transaction was disclosed in a 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 sale, the director now owns 2,110 shares in the company, valued at approximately $171,838.40. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 3.10% of the stock is owned by insiders.

Institutional investors and hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Howe & Rusling Inc. boosted its stake in Crane by 88.5% during the third quarter. Howe & Rusling Inc. now owns 2,252 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $180,000 after buying an additional 1,057 shares in the last quarter. ClariVest Asset Management LLC boosted its stake in Crane by 54.2% during the third quarter. ClariVest Asset Management LLC now owns 2,276 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $182,000 after buying an additional 800 shares in the last quarter. Fruth Investment Management acquired a new stake in Crane during the fourth quarter worth $205,000. Vident Investment Advisory LLC acquired a new stake in Crane during the third quarter worth $209,000. Finally, Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank boosted its stake in Crane by 51.6% during the fourth quarter. Zurcher Kantonalbank Zurich Cantonalbank now owns 2,695 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $240,000 after buying an additional 917 shares in the last quarter. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.53% of the company’s stock.

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Crane Company Profile

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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