Crane (NYSE:CR) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday.

According to Zacks, “In the past three months, Crane's shares have outperformed the industry. The company's emerging track record 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. For 2018, Crane increased its earnings per share guidance from $5.45-$5.65 to $5.60-$5.80 per share range. Also, free cash flow is predicted to be $250-$280 million, above $240-$270 million anticipated earlier. However, rising material costs and risks arising from unfavourable foreign currency movements remain issues for the company. Also, the stock appears overvalued compared with the industry. Earnings estimates on the stock, in the past 60 days, remained stable for both 2018 and 2019.”

Several other research firms also recently commented on CR. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Crane from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 19th. UBS Group upgraded shares of Crane from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $100.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Monday, July 30th. Five analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $107.00.

NYSE:CR traded up $0.01 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $98.19. 3,610 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 249,241. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.65, a current ratio of 1.60 and a quick ratio of 1.12. Crane has a fifty-two week low of $77.80 and a fifty-two week high of $102.65. The company has a market cap of $5.88 billion, a PE ratio of 21.68, a P/E/G ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 1.28.

Crane (NYSE:CR) last posted its earnings results on Monday, July 23rd. The conglomerate reported $1.41 EPS for the quarter, topping the consensus estimate of $1.35 by $0.06. Crane had a net margin of 6.17% and a return on equity of 21.72%. The business had revenue of $851.00 million for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $834.45 million. During the same period last year, the company earned $1.17 EPS. The firm’s revenue was up 21.1% compared to the same quarter last year. equities research analysts expect that Crane will post 5.76 EPS for the current year.

In other news, VP Edward S. Switter sold 6,654 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, July 26th. The shares were sold at an average price of $88.83, for a total value of $591,074.82. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 26,098 shares in the company, valued at approximately $2,318,285.34. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, CFO Richard A. Maue sold 13,150 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, August 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.04, for a total transaction of $1,170,876.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief financial officer now owns 55,390 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,931,925.60. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 83,531 shares of company stock worth $7,477,261 in the last 90 days. Corporate insiders own 3.00% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds and other institutional investors have recently modified their holdings of the company. KBC Group NV acquired a new position in shares of Crane in the 2nd quarter worth approximately $156,000. Adviser Investments LLC acquired a new position in shares of Crane during the 1st quarter valued at $193,000. Paloma Partners Management Co acquired a new position in shares of Crane during the 2nd quarter valued at $229,000. Sawtooth Solutions LLC acquired a new position in shares of Crane during the 2nd quarter valued at $233,000. Finally, Hilltop Holdings Inc. acquired a new position in shares of Crane during the 2nd quarter valued at $263,000. Hedge funds and other institutional investors own 68.32% of the company’s stock.

About Crane

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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