Crane (CR) is one of those gems that manufactures products nobody thinks about until they need them (hoses), as well as specialized parts for machines we use every day (bill validation systems in vending machines).
CR runs four business segments: aerospace and electronics, engineered materials, merchandising systems and fluid handling and controls. Together, they produce $2.6 billion in revenues.
Crane’s last three years of revenue growth have been steady if not stellar, and only an “unusual expense” charge of $271 million related to a liability at its Goodyear, Ariz., Superfund Site in 2011 kept CR from similar solid bottom-line growth.
Crane has about $390 million in cash, and it produced roughly $200 million in free cash flow in 2012 while paying out $62 million in dividends.
CR’s yield has been held back by a 71% run in the past 52 weeks, but dividend growth of 40% since 2010 should encourage income hunters, as should four decades of uninterrupted quarterly payouts.