Crane Co. (NYSE:CR) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $84.00 price target on the stock. Zacks Investment Research’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 11.10% from the company’s previous close.

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%.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on CR. Credit Suisse Group AG set a $8.00 target price on shares of Crane and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Sunday, November 6th. Canaccord Genuity upped their target price on shares of Crane from $65.00 to $70.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 26th. Stifel Nicolaus upped their target price on shares of Crane from $65.00 to $69.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, October 26th. Avondale Partners reissued a “market perform” rating on shares of Crane in a report on Wednesday, October 12th. Finally, Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. initiated coverage on shares of Crane in a report on Thursday, November 17th. They set a “market perform” rating for the company. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $60.75.

Analyst Recommendations for Crane (NYSE:CR)

Crane (NYSE:CR) traded down 1.03% during midday trading on Tuesday, reaching $74.64. The company had a trading volume of 173,354 shares. The firm’s 50 day moving average is $67.88 and its 200 day moving average is $62.32. The stock has a market capitalization of $4.38 billion, a PE ratio of 17.48 and a beta of 1.13. Crane has a 1-year low of $41.68 and a 1-year high of $76.09.

Crane (NYSE:CR) last announced its earnings results on Monday, October 24th. The company reported $1.07 EPS for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $1.01 by $0.06. Crane had a net margin of 9.17% and a return on equity of 20.59%. The business earned $694 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $666.89 million. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned ($0.13) earnings per share. The business’s revenue was up 3.6% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts anticipate that Crane will post $4.19 EPS for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, December 9th. Investors of record on Wednesday, November 30th will be given a dividend of $0.33 per share. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 28th. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.75%. Crane’s dividend payout ratio (DPR) is currently 30.99%.

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In related news, Director Philip R. Lochner sold 2,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $68.26, for a total transaction of $136,520.00. Following the sale, the director now owns 2,350 shares in the company, valued at $160,411. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Also, VP A D. Pantaleoni sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $74.29, for a total transaction of $371,450.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 9,876 shares in the company, valued at approximately $733,688.04. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in the company. Freestone Capital Holdings LLC increased its position in Crane by 1,221.1% in the second quarter. Freestone Capital Holdings LLC now owns 335,531 shares of the company’s stock worth $19,031,000 after buying an additional 310,133 shares in the last quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. increased its position in Crane by 7.4% in the second quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 3,869,873 shares of the company’s stock worth $219,500,000 after buying an additional 265,637 shares in the last quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC increased its position in Crane by 1,176.5% in the second quarter. SG Americas Securities LLC now owns 243,517 shares of the company’s stock worth $13,812,000 after buying an additional 224,440 shares in the last quarter. Emerald Acquisition Ltd. bought a new position in Crane during the second quarter worth $11,362,000. Finally, Foundry Partners LLC bought a new position in Crane during the second quarter worth $10,643,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 67.86% of the company’s stock.

About Crane

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.

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