The leadership transition at filtration company Clarcor from Norm Johnson to Chris Conway has been completed. The board of the Franklin-based company this week voted to hike Conway's salary to $500,000 from $325,000 and give him the chance to earn a bonus of up to 75 percent of the new number. By way of comparison, Johnson's salary in 2010 was more than $730,000.
Franklin-based Clarcor will at the end of next week make the move from the S&P SmallCap 600 Index to the MidCap 400, a transition that's likely to create a little bit of turbulence in the stock as index-based fund managers adjust their holdings. Shares of Clarcor (Ticker: CLC) are up more than 10 percent so far in 2011 and about 80 percent since the market's March 2009 lows.
Kevin Maczka at BB&T Capital Markets has downgraded Clarcor to 'hold' from 'buy' after the stock's 16 percent run over the past three months. Year to date, Clarcor (Ticker: CLC) is up about 13 percent.
Global aluminum prices have been pressuring margins for companies such as Franklin-based Noranda, which has led Goldman Sachs analyst Sal Tharani to cut his EPS estimates and price target for the company. Tharani now sees the stock (Ticker: NOR) going to $12 from its current $10-and-change levels, down from $14.
The board of Clarcor has voted to increase the filtration and packaging company's dividend to 12 cents per quarter from 10.5 cents. The hike makes it 29 consecutive years that the Franklin-based company (Ticker: CLC) has boosted its payout and will lift its dividend yield to about 1.1 percent based on Thursday's closing price.
UBS analyst Justin Lake has hiked his earnings estimates for Medicare insurer HealthSpring. But Lake, who has a 'buy' rating on the company, is sticking to his $52 price target, which still leaves the stock (Ticker: HS) about 40 percent of upside.
Morgan Keegan researcher Rob Mains says Brookdale Senior Living shares also can still climb more than 40 percent, but isn't in a hurry to jump in. In a note reiterating his 'outperform' rating, Mains says the stock (Ticker: BKD) may remain cheap "for a few months."
And over at Hilliard Lyons, analysts have launched coverage of Clarcor shares with a 'buy' rating and a $54 price target. That makes the firm the most optimistic on the Street about Clarcor (Ticker: CLC), which is changing hands at roughly $44 today.
Clarcor Chairman and CEO Norm Johnson on Monday sold almost $900,000 worth of shares in the Franklin-based company. The move came on the heels of a larger sale Friday. Combined, the two sets of transactions have trimmed Johnson's direct and indirect stake in Clarcor by about 5 percent.
POSTDATA: WARRANTY DEEDS