Analyzing Crane (CR) and Proto Labs (PRLB)

Crane (NYSE: CR) and Proto Labs (NYSE:PRLB) are both multi-sector conglomerates companies, but which is the superior stock? We will compare the two companies based on the strength of their valuation, profitability, dividends, analyst recommendations, institutional ownership, earnings and risk.


Crane pays an annual dividend of $1.32 per share and has a dividend yield of 1.7%. Proto Labs does not pay a dividend. Crane pays out 60.8% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.

Volatility and Risk

Crane has a beta of 1.11, suggesting that its share price is 11% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Proto Labs has a beta of 0.99, suggesting that its share price is 1% less volatile than the S&P 500.

Analyst Ratings

This is a summary of current ratings for Crane and Proto Labs, as reported by

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Crane 0 5 6 0 2.55
Proto Labs 0 3 0 0 2.00

Crane presently has a consensus price target of $74.57, indicating a potential downside of 4.82%. Proto Labs has a consensus price target of $56.00, indicating a potential downside of 24.58%. Given Crane’s stronger consensus rating and higher probable upside, equities analysts plainly believe Crane is more favorable than Proto Labs.

Insider and Institutional Ownership

69.4% of Crane shares are owned by institutional investors. 3.1% of Crane shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 7.8% of Proto Labs shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, large money managers and endowments believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.


This table compares Crane and Proto Labs’ net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Crane 4.79% 20.57% 7.49%
Proto Labs 14.59% 11.75% 10.71%

Valuation and Earnings

This table compares Crane and Proto Labs’ top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Crane $2.75 billion 1.70 $482.00 million $2.17 36.11
Proto Labs $312.73 million 6.32 $85.30 million $1.71 43.42

Crane has higher revenue and earnings than Proto Labs. Crane is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Proto Labs, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.


Crane beats Proto Labs on 10 of the 16 factors compared between the two stocks.

Crane Company Profile

Crane Co. (Crane) is a manufacturer of engineered industrial products. The Company operates through four segments, including Fluid Handling, Payment & Merchandising Technologies, Aerospace & Electronics, and Engineered Materials. The Fluid Handling segment is a provider of engineered fluid handling equipment, including Process Valves and Related Products, Commercial Valves and Other Products. The Payment & Merchandising Technologies segment includes Crane Payment Innovations (CPI) and Merchandising Systems. The Aerospace & Electronics segment supplies various components and systems, including original equipment and aftermarket parts, primarily for the commercial aerospace and military aerospace, and defense markets. The Engineered Materials segment manufactures fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) panels and coils, primarily for use in the manufacturing of recreational vehicles (RVs), truck bodies, truck trailers, with additional applications in commercial and industrial buildings.

Proto Labs Company Profile

Proto Labs, Inc. is an e-commerce driven digital manufacturer of on-demand three dimensional (3D) printed, computer numerical control (CNC) machined and injection-molded custom parts for prototyping and short-run production. The Company’s geographic segments include the United States, Europe and Japan. The Company targets its products to the product developers and engineers who use 3D computer-aided design (3D CAD) software to design products across a range of end markets. Its product lines include Injection Molding, CNC Machining and 3D Printing. Its Injection Molding product line is used for prototype, on-demand and short-run production. Its CNC Machining product line uses commercially available CNC machines to cut plastic or metal blocks into one or more custom parts based on the 3D CAD model uploaded by the product developer or engineer. Its 3D Printing product line includes stereolithography (SL), selective laser sintering (SLS) and direct metal laser sintering (DMLS) processes.

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