Crane Co. Reports Decline In Fourth Quarter Profits; Vending Sales Improve

Crane Co., a diversified manufacturer of engineered industrial products, announced its regular quarterly dividend of $0.23 per share for the first quarter of 2011. The dividend is payable on March 10, 2011 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Feb. 28, 2011.

Earnings in 2010 per diluted share decreased 18 percent to $0.66, compared to $0.81 in the fourth quarter of 2009. Excluding special items, fourth quarter 2010 earnings per diluted share increased 19 percent to $0.68 compared to $0.57 in the fourth quarter of 2009.

Fourth quarter 2010 sales of $574 million increased $29.0 million, or 5 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2009. Excluding the Boeing agreement referenced above, fourth quarter 2010 sales increased $47.9 million, or 9 percent, compared to the fourth quarter of 2009, resulting from a core sales increase of $49.7 million (9 percent) and an increase in sales from acquired businesses (net of divestitures) of $3.7 million (1 percent), partially offset by unfavorable foreign currency translation of $5.5 million (1 percent).

Fourth quarter 2010 operating profit declined 23 percent to $53.7 million compared to $69.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Excluding Special Items, fourth quarter 2010 operating profit increased 12 percent to $62.8 million compared to $56.0 million in the fourth quarter 2009, and operating profit margin increased to 10.9 percent, compared to 10.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2009.

"We are pleased to report full year EPS of $2.59, which was at the high end of our October guidance of $2.50 to $2.60 and reflected substantial improvement in our business over the course of the year," said Crane Co. president and chief executive officer, Eric C. Fast in a prepared statement. "Excluding Special Items, our full year operating margin of 11.0 percent approached the 11.1 percent margin we achieved in 2007, and we remain confident that we will reach our 13 percent margin target when our sales return to $2.6 billion. With sales increasing for three consecutive quarters and continued strengthening in our late cycle aerospace business, we have good momentum as we begin 2011."

Total sales in 2010 were $2.218 billion, an increase of 1 percent from $2.196 billion in 2009. Excluding the Boeing agreement, 2010 sales increased $40.4 million, or 2 percent, resulting from a core sales increase of $31.4 million (2 percent), favorable foreign currency translation of $7.1 million and an increase in sales from acquired businesses (net of divestitures) of $1.9 million.

Operating profit for the full year 2010 increased 13 percent to $235.2 million compared to $208.3 million in 2009. Excluding Special Items, 2010 operating profit increased 19 percent to $243.1 million compared to $204.4 million in 2009, and operating profit margin increased to 11.0 percent, compared to 9.4 percent in 2009.

Full year 2010 earnings per diluted share increased 14 percent to $2.59, compared to $2.28 in 2009. Excluding Special Items, 2010 earnings per diluted share increased 21 percent to $2.59 compared to $2.15 in 2009.

Order backlog was $768 million at Dec. 31, 2010 compared to $664 million at Dec. 31, 2009. The backlog at Dec. 31, 2010 was favorably impacted by the 2010 acquisitions of Merrimac Industries and Money Controls, which had backlogs of $23 million and $8 million, respectively.

Cash provided by operating activities in the fourth quarter of 2010 was $74.2million, compared to $63.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. Free cash flow (cash provided by operating activities less capital spending) for the fourth quarter of 2010 was $66.8million, compared to $56.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2009. For the full year 2010, cash provided by operating activities was $133.5 million compared to $189.0 million in 2009. Free cash flow for the full year 2010 was $112.5 million, compared to $160.7 million in the prior year, primarily reflecting higher working capital needs to support improving sales trends.

The company repurchased 1,396,608 shares of its common stock during 2010 at a cost of approximately $50 million, including 515,350 shares in the fourth quarter for $20 million. The company's cash position was $273 million at December 31, 2010, down from $316 million at Sept. 30, 2010 reflecting the Money Controls acquisition for $92.5 million in December partially offset by strong cash flow.

Merchandising systems sales of $76.1 million increased $4.4 million, or 6 percent, reflecting higher sales in both vending and payment solutions. Operating profit and profit margin declined primarily reflecting the absence of a favorable legal settlement which occurred in the fourth quarter of 2009. The restructuring charge recorded in the fourth quarter of 2010 relates to initiatives associated with the Money Controls acquisition.

For more information, visit www.craneco.com.

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