How Far Can Manitowoc Rise in 2013?

As 2013 begins, now's a good time to look at the future prospects for the stocks you own. If you don't know where a company's headed in the next year and beyond, then it's impossible to make an informed decision about whether you should add the stock to your portfolio -- or sell it if you already own it.

Today, I'll look at Manitowoc (NYSE: MTW  ) . The maker of industrial cranes and food services equipment put up great returns for shareholders in 2012, but will the company's bottom line finally get out of the red? Below, you'll learn more about Manitowoc's prospects for 2013.

Stats on Manitowoc

Average Stock Target Price

$16.86

Full-Year 2012 EPS Estimate

$0.73

Full-Year 2013 EPS Estimate

$1.32

Full-Year 2012 Sales Growth Estimate

7.1%

Full-Year 2013 Sales Growth Estimate

7.4%

Forward P/E

12.6

Source: Yahoo Finance.

Will Manitowoc fly or fall in 2013?
Analysts seem to be conflicted about Manitowoc's prospects this year. On one hand, the target price is only 1% higher than the current stock price, after a 6% jump in yesterday's rally. Yet on the earnings front, earnings per share are seen rising 80% as revenue grows at a healthy clip.

Paradoxically, Manitowoc owes much of its good fortune in 2012 to the fact that it isn't as geographically diverse as its competitors. With the company getting the bulk of its business from North America, a favorable environment in the U.S. has helped it more than its global peers.

But looking forward, Manitowoc faces plenty of headwinds. On the food service front, sales have remained flat as overseas expansion has dwindled for many big players. McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) , which praised Manitowoc's contribution to its success, has posted negative same-store sales recently for the first time in nearly a decade. Meanwhile, in the equipment area, construction giant Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT  ) and agricultural specialist Deere (NYSE: DE  ) have both reined in revenue guidance for 2013 compared to last year, while Terex (NYSE: TEX  ) owes most of its sales growth to acquisition activity.

Still, Manitowoc is capturing opportunities too. With the World Cup and Olympics both in Brazil within the next three years, Manitowoc's cranes will be increasingly in demand. If those plays pan out as well as they may, then Manitowoc could well keep flying high in 2013.

Can Manitowoc catch up to Caterpillar?
Manitowoc is an up-and-comer, but Caterpillar leads its industry. Find out whether Caterpillar is the better buy in our premium research report on the industrial machinery giant, which goes through the company's strengths and weaknesses. Just click here to access it now.

Click here to add Manitowoc to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.


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