fourth-quarter earnings fell 24% from a gain-swollen year-ago quarter, but still topped analyst estimates.
The company earned $35.3 million, or 58 cents a share, in the latest quarter, compared with $46.4 million, or 78 cents a share, a year ago. Excluding gains, Crane earned $30.7 million, or 52 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts were forecasting 57 cents a share in the most recent quarter.
Fourth-quarter 2005 sales rose 4% to $506.3 million. Analysts were estimating sales of $510.5 million. Excluding the year-ago gains, operating profit rose 19% to $55.1 million.
Order backlog at Dec. 31 was $597.1 million compared with $566.7 million a year ago.
Crane expects earnings in the first quarter 2006 to be 46 cents to 56 cents a share, including stock options expense. The Thomson First Call consensus estimate is for earnings of 50 cents a share.
On a full-year basis, Crane sees earnings of $2.45 to $2.60 per share, including stock options expenses.
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