April 24, 2012 | last updated June 1, 2012 2:05 pm

Stamford's Crane Co. has record 1Q profit

Stamford industrial manufacturer Crane Co. posted record first-quarter profits on strong sales.

Crane also declared dividends of 26 cents a share to be paid June 8 to common stockholders on record by May 31.

For three months ended March 31, Crane netted $51.8 million, or 88 cents a fully diluted share, up from $48.5 million, or 81 cents a share, netted the same quarter in 2011.

First-quarter sales were $657.9 million vs. $611 million a year ago.

CEO Eric C. Fast said Crane's aerospace & electronics and fluid-handling businesses drove first-quarter profitability.

Fast also said Crane is on track for its previous estimate of fully-year earnings of $3.75 to $3.95 a share and free cash flow in the range of $160 million to $190 million.

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