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April 24, 2012 10:00 AM ET
Richard Koch – Director, IR
Eric Fast – President and CEO
Andrew Krawitt – CFO
James Banks – Citigroup
Robert Barry – UBS
Matt Summerville – KeyBanc
Good afternoon, and welcome to Crane’s First Quarter Earning Conference Call. Today’s call is being recorded. At this time, I would like to turn the call over to Director of Investor Relations, Mr. Richard Koch. Please go ahead, sir.
Thank you, operator. Good morning, everyone. Welcome to Crane’s first quarter 2012 earnings release conference call. I am Dick Koch, Director of Investor Relations. On our call we have Eric Fast, our President and CEO; and Andrew Krawitt, our Principal Financial Officer. We will start off our call with a few prepared remarks, after which we will respond to questions.
Just as reminder, the comments we make on this call may include some forward-looking statements. We refer you to the cautionary language at the bottom of the earnings release, and also in our Annual Report, 10-K and subsequent filings, pertaining to forward-looking statements.
Also during the call, we will be using some non-GAAP numbers, which are reconciled to the comparable GAAP numbers in the table at the end of your press release, which is available on our website at www.craneco.com in the Investor Relations section.
Now, let me turn the call over to Eric.
Thank you, Dick. Crane is off to a good start in 2012 with improved first quarter results driven by our Aerospace & Electronics and Fluid Handling segment. Sales grew 8% in the quarter with core sales also up 8%. Operating margin rose slightly to 12.1% from 11.9% a year ago, and earnings per share increased 8% to $0.88, a first quarter record.