STAMFORD, CT -- Crane Co. announced that sales in its merchandising systems business unit increased $4.4 million, or 6%, in the fourth quarter of 2010. Sales for the quarter were $76.1 million, compared with $71.7 million for the same period in 2009.
The Stamford, CT-based diversified manufacturer said the quarterly gain reflects higher sales of both vending machines and payment systems. 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. | SEE STORY
Companywide, Crane reported a fourth-quarter net profit of $39.4 million, or 66¢ a share, down from $47.7 million, or 81¢ a diluted share a year earlier. The company said its quarterly profit was stronger-than-expected, thanks to continued improvement of its aerospace equipment business.
Revenue rose 5% to $574 million.
Analysts, on average, expected the company to report a profit of 65¢ a share on sales of $556.5 million, according to Thomson Reuters. Investment bank UBS last week initiated coverage on Crane's stock at "buy," saying that, for the next few years, it expects revenue will benefit from tailwinds in the late cycle aerospace, chemicals, oil and gas, and utilities end markets. UBS also hyped the advantages Crane's growth investments made during the downturn.
Looking forward, Crane said it expects to report full-year 2011 earnings in the range of $2.80 to $3 a share, up from $2.59 a share in 2010.
Founded in 1855, Crane provides products and solutions to customers in aerospace, electronics, hydrocarbon processing, petrochemical, chemical, power generation, automated merchandising and transportation markets, among others.
Headquartered in St. Louis, with machine production based in Williston, SC, Crane Merchandising Systems is composed of two segments that integrate vending machines, management software and payment systems. Crane Vending Solutions, whose brands include National Vendors, Dixie-Narco, Automatic Products, GPL and Stentorfield, is a leading machine manufacturer. Crane's Streamware business unit, which develops and markets management software, is part of the vending segment.
Crane Payment Solutions is an alliance of Crane-owned companies CashCode, National Rejectors Inc. GmbH (NRI) and Telequip Corp., and now Money Controls. These businesses offer a wide range of innovative, reliable currency systems; all three are key suppliers to markets including global vending, gaming, retail and transportation.