Crane ( CR) a diversified manufacturer of engineered industrial products, said second-quarter earnings jumped 24.6%, driven primarily by the fluid handling and aerospace and electronics segments. The company earned $44.46 million, or 71 cents a share, in the quarter, compared with $35.67 million, or 59 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call were expecting earnings of 67 cents a share. Second-quarter sales rose 6% to $558.15 million as against analysts' expectation of $562.1 million. For the third quarter, the company expects to earn 68 cents to 74 cents a share. For the full year, the company expects to earn $2.60 to $2.70 a share. Analysts polled by Thomson First Call are expecting earnings of 70 cents a share for the third quarter and $2.63 a share for the full year. Operating profit margin rose 140 basis point to 11.8%. The company's order backlog at the end of the quarter, totaled $637 million, compared with backlog of $622 million at March 31, and $597 million at Dec. 31, 2005. The company also announced a 20% rise in the quarterly dividend from 12.5 cents a share to 15 cents a share, for an indicated annual dividend rate of 60 cents a share. The new dividend rate will become effective with the third quarter 2006 quarterly dividend. "The growth in operating profits in fluid handling was particularly notable profits increased 50% over the second quarter of 2005 with operating margin rising to 11.8%," said the company. "During the second quarter, we closed on the purchase of Automatic Products international, which will strengthen our vending solutions business, and Telequip Corporation, a leader in coin dispensing solutions, which will broaden our payment solutions capabilities."