Crane (CR) Upgraded at Zacks Investment Research

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Crane (NYSE:CR) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $105.00 price target on the conglomerate’s stock.

According to Zacks, “In the last six months, Crane's shares have outperformed the industry by a huge margin. The company is also enjoying bullish analyst attention, as the company’s Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2018 has moved north over the past 60 days. Crane's emerging track record, robust earnings growth profile and cash generation indicate a bright future for the company. Going forward, the company expects to gain from solid organic growth potential, tax cuts and its repositioning initiatives. The Crane Currency buyout will strengthen the company’s foothold in the currency and payments market, and will be accretive to earnings this year itself. However, the company faces a complex and competitive environment, and is thus vulnerable to adverse trade regulations and uncertain economic conditions.”

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Several other brokerages have also commented on CR. Canaccord Genuity dropped their price target on shares of Crane from $100.00 to $99.95 in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Stifel Nicolaus upgraded shares of Crane from a hold rating to a buy rating and increased their price target for the stock from $99.00 to $113.00 in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Crane from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note on Friday, February 2nd. UBS initiated coverage on shares of Crane in a research note on Tuesday, January 23rd. They set a neutral rating and a $100.00 price target on the stock. Finally, Oppenheimer restated a buy rating and set a $105.00 price target (up previously from $92.00) on shares of Crane in a research note on Wednesday, January 31st. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $107.00.

CR stock opened at $95.49 on Tuesday. Crane has a 12-month low of $71.23 and a 12-month high of $102.65. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.37, a current ratio of 1.81 and a quick ratio of 1.40. The company has a market capitalization of $5,697.30, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.09, a P/E/G ratio of 1.67 and a beta of 1.20.

Crane (NYSE:CR) last released its earnings results on Monday, January 29th. The conglomerate reported $1.18 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping 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 company had revenue of $714.20 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $702.50 million. During the same quarter in the prior year, the firm earned $1.02 EPS. The company’s revenue was up 4.8% compared to the same quarter last year. research analysts expect that Crane will post 5.52 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

In related news, insider Brendan Curran sold 16,356 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $93.87, for a total value of $1,535,337.72. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 27,702 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,600,386.74. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. Also, VP Augustus I. Dupont sold 16,396 shares of the firm’s 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 owns 102,994 shares in the company, valued at $10,066,633.56. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 46,861 shares of company stock worth $4,476,647 over the last quarter. 3.00% of the stock is currently owned by company insiders.

A number of large investors have recently bought and sold shares of CR. Virtus Fund Advisers LLC acquired a new position in Crane in the 4th quarter valued at $29,286,000. Victory Capital Management Inc. grew its stake in Crane by 31.9% in the 4th quarter. Victory Capital Management Inc. now owns 874,707 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $78,041,000 after buying an additional 211,710 shares during the last quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans grew its stake in Crane by 439.7% in the 4th quarter. Thrivent Financial For Lutherans now owns 220,104 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $19,638,000 after buying an additional 179,324 shares during the last quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN grew its stake in Crane by 153.0% in the 4th quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 293,143 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $26,154,000 after buying an additional 177,275 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Alliancebernstein L.P. grew its stake in Crane by 456.2% in the 4th quarter. Alliancebernstein L.P. now owns 162,943 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $14,538,000 after buying an additional 133,649 shares during the last quarter. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 69.36% of the company’s stock.

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Crane Company Profile

Crane Co manufactures and sells engineered industrial products worldwide. The company's Fluid Handling segment offers process valves and related products, including on/off valves and related products for application in the chemical, oil and gas, power, and general industrial end markets; valves and related products for the non-residential construction, general industrial, and municipal markets; and pumps and related products for water and wastewater applications in the industrial, municipal, commercial, and military markets.

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