Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Crane Company (NYSE:CR) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report sent to investors on Thursday morning.

According to Zacks, “Year to date, shares of Crane Co. have outperformed the industry. In second-quarter 2017, the company's earnings and revenues topped their respective Zacks Consensus Estimate by 0.86% and 0.82%. For 2017, the company reaffirmed its previously issued earnings guidance of $4.35-$4.55 per share. 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. However, the company predicts uneven demand for payment and merchandising products in 2017. Also, it expects the ebbing impact from unfavorable foreign currency movements to be offset by higher commodity and input costs. Additionally, the company faces risks from stiff competition and uncertain global economic conditions.”

CR has been the subject of a number of other reports. TheStreet raised shares of Crane from a c+ rating to a b+ rating in a research report on Monday, April 24th. Wolfe Research started coverage on shares of Crane in a research report on Tuesday, July 11th. They set a market perform rating for the company. BidaskClub raised shares of Crane from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Saturday, July 8th. ValuEngine raised shares of Crane from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report on Friday, June 2nd. Finally, William Blair raised shares of Crane from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report on Tuesday, April 25th. Seven investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $76.88.

Crane (NYSE:CR) opened at 75.48 on Thursday. The firm has a market capitalization of $4.49 billion, a PE ratio of 34.39 and a beta of 1.11. Crane has a 1-year low of $59.81 and a 1-year high of $84.34. The company’s 50-day moving average is $80.19 and its 200 day moving average is $76.59.

Crane (NYSE:CR) last released its quarterly earnings data on Monday, July 24th. The conglomerate reported $1.17 EPS for the quarter, hitting the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $1.17. Crane had a net margin of 4.79% and a return on equity of 20.57%. The firm had revenue of $702.50 million during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $702.53 million. During the same period in the previous year, the business posted $1.21 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down 1.4% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities analysts expect that Crane will post $4.47 EPS for the current fiscal year.

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The firm also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, September 8th. Stockholders of record on Thursday, August 31st will be given a $0.33 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Tuesday, August 29th. This represents a $1.32 dividend on an annualized basis and a dividend yield of 1.75%. Crane’s payout ratio is presently 60.83%.

In other news, VP Curtis A. Baron, Jr. sold 5,364 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, May 16th. The shares were sold at an average price of $79.60, for a total value of $426,974.40. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now owns 18,044 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,436,302.40. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Insiders own 3.10% of the company’s stock.

Several large investors have recently made changes to their positions in CR. ClariVest Asset Management LLC increased its stake in shares of Crane by 15.7% in the first quarter. ClariVest Asset Management LLC now owns 1,476 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $110,000 after buying an additional 200 shares during the period. Broderick Brian C acquired a new stake in shares of Crane during the first quarter valued at $202,000. Janney Capital Management LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Crane during the first quarter valued at $227,000. World Asset Management Inc increased its stake in shares of Crane by 2.4% in the first quarter. World Asset Management Inc now owns 3,093 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $231,000 after buying an additional 72 shares during the period. Finally, TLP Group LLC acquired a new stake in shares of Crane during the first quarter valued at $254,000. 69.13% of the stock is owned by institutional investors.

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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