STAMFORD, CT -- Sales in Crane Co.'s Merchandising Systems fell 9.6% to $83.6 million in the 2013 third quarter from $92.5 million a year earlier.
Crane Merchandising Systems consists of two divisions. Sales edged up in its Payment Solutions business, but were more than offset by a decline in its Vending Solutions segment.
The company attributed declines in sales and operating profit in its vending machine business to lower capital spending by certain bottler customers and continued weakness in Europe. Operating profit and margins increased in Payment Solutions, reflecting the impact of higher sales of unattended payment systems and continued productivity gains.
Crane's third-quarter results included costs of $4.1 million, or 7¢ a share, related to the pending acquisition of MEI Conlux Holdings. Excluding the MEI transaction costs, earnings per share increased 5% to $1.04, up from 99¢ in the third quarter of 2012.
Companywide, Crane Co. earned 97¢ a share compared with 99¢ a year earlier. Sales in the 2013 third quarter decreased 1.3% to $637.5 million from $646 million year over year.
"On a 1% decline in revenues, total company operating margins grew to 14.4%, with solid performance in our Fluid Handling, Payment Solutions and Engineered Materials businesses," said Crane Co. chief executive Eric C. Fast. "In connection with the pending acquisition of MEI, we are actively engaged in satisfying the remedies required by the European Commission and expect to close the acquisition late in the fourth quarter."
Crane's 2013 EPS is now expected to be in a range of $4.10 to $4.20 per share, down slightly from its previous guidance of $4.10 to $4.25 per share, reflecting lower-than-anticipated revenue growth. The 2013 guidance does not include potential impacts from the
pending acquisition of MEI Conlux Holdings.
Full year 2013 free cash flow is now expected to be in a range of $190 to $210 million, compared previous guidance of $190 to $220 million, reflecting the impact of the lower sales and transaction costs associated with the pending acquisition of MEI.