Brian Drab at William Blair has cut his rating on shares of Clarcor to 'market perform' from 'outperform,' where he had had them since August of 2011. The move comes shortly after Franklin-based Clarcor reported Q4 profits and said its 2013 would be below the Street's consensus. Shares of Clarcor (Ticker: CLC) ended last week up about 3 percent and have risen about 10 percent over the past three months.
Edward Westlake, refining analyst at Credit Suisse, sees more good things ahead for Delek US Holdings and other independent refiners even though he has lowered his Q4 earnings estimates a bit. Looking forward to 2013, his big themes include both improvements in the margin dynamics and "continued appreciation of the free cash generation and the value of higher multiple businesses within the group which suggest the shares still offer value." Because of that, Westlake has boosted his price targets for Delek and a number of its peers by about 7 percent. Delek (Ticker: DK) is up more than 20 percent year to date and has soared 60 percent since late July.
Investment management firm Eaton Vance saw value in shares of Franklin-based Clarcor in the wake of their post-earnings September swoon. The firm this week reported that it now owns more than 4.3 million Clarcor shares, up from roughly 1.4 million shares on Sept. 30. Eaton Vance, which manages about $200 billion, is now Clarcor's No. 2 shareholder behind Neuberger Berman. Clarcor (Ticker: CLC) is up almost 10 percent in the past three months.
Franklin-based Clarcor said late Monday it plans to spend an unspecified amount to increase the size of its Dallas air filter plant by more than half. The construction, which is supposed to wrap up by the end of this year, will add about 45,000 square feet of manufacturing and distribution capacity to the 22-year-old plant. The company (Ticker: CLC) also plans to hire more workers.
Outspoken hospital analyst Sheryl Skolnick got some time on CNBC Monday, where she talked about the political climate's effect on the sector. The CRT Capital researcher also was asked about her 'sell' rating on Community Health Systems. Her response: There's still an overhang from the various regulatory issues that Chairman and CEO Wayne Smith and his team face, the company is dependent on acquisitions for growth and — this is music to the ears of deep-down-number-crunching investors everywhere — cash flows aren't keeping up with earnings.
Richard Eastman at Robert W. Baird has lowered his price target on shares of Clarcor to $52 from $55 following the company's Q3 miss. But, he notes, the Franklin-based maker of filtration and packaging products still has the ability to grow its margins and he is keeping his 'outperform' rating. Barron's has more on that and on the recent dividend hike.
It looks like the managers of several funds under Mario Gabelli's GAMCO Investors umbrella had an inkling Clarcor's third-quarter results weren't going to be pretty. Starting in late July, they began steadily trimming their stakes in the Franklin-based maker of filtration and packaging products, which on Thursday reported a big miss. By Wednesday afternoon, they had sold more than 185,000 shares (Ticker: CLC), which tumbled more than 10 percent Thursday. The sales took GAMCO's stake below 5 percent.
Clarcor's former CEO and current executive chairman Norm Johnson has been steadily trimming his holdings in the Franklin-based company since stepping out of the boss' seat late last year. Earlier this month, a trading plan set up by him to handle shares held in his wife's name unloaded almost 28,000 Clarcor shares in two series of transactions — linked here and here — for almost $1.4 million. Johnson and his wife still own more than $3.6 million worth of Clarcor (Ticker: CLC), which is flat year to date.
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