Although we don't believe in timing the market or panicking over market movements, we do like to keep an eye on big changes -- just in case they're material to our investing thesis.
What: Shares of industrial manufacturer Manitowoc
So what: While Manitowoc's fourth-quarter earnings were largely in line with estimates, a big beat on the top line -- $1.0 billion versus the consensus of just $830.9 million -- is prompting analysts to raise its growth expectations on the stock. Weakness in the global economy has wreaked havoc with Manitowoc's stock price over the past couple of years, but a 40% jump in crane segment sales suggests that things are indeed turning around.
Now what: For 2012, management now sees 10% to 15% growth in its crane revenue and high single-digit revenue growth in its food-service business. "The steps we have taken to improve our competitive position over the last several years drive our outlook in 2012 as we endeavor to expand our leadership position and continue to improve our financial strength and flexibility," said CEO Glen Tellock. With its reasonable forward P/E of 10 and steadily decreasing debt load, it might even be safe to buy into that optimism.
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